4G Internet services promise noticeably faster mobile Internet speeds as compared to its 3G forerunner and, as would you and the thousands of net critters like us, I said “I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE” when I experienced firsthand how FAST Smart’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G service could really go. Imagine watching full-HD Youtube videos without the pain of letting them stream for hours on pause before watching them sans buffering. To understand the technology better, I tried reading through net materials on 4G and, not surprisingly, my brain would numb off when I force it to get as much supposedly life nurturing nerdy juice from them as I can. Right after my third failed attempt, I concluded with firm resolve that if I become Emperor of the known world, I’d ban techno-jargon from reaching the consciousness of ordinary mortals, this Mensa genius included, because of their arbitrary harmful effects, quite similar to getting too much UV, glucose from non-diet non-zero sodas, and fat from those delicious yet ordinary glazed donuts.
However, if there’s one thing I learned from my net-readings, it’s this: 3.5G and HSPA+ will be far FAR inferior compared to a 4G’s premise like, in my mind, somewhere along a 1Gb download in under 10 minutes while you play your favourite resource-hogging online flash or client-based MMORPG . Sounds ridiculous, yes? Actually, not with LTE.
Smart will soon release its 4G LTE service late in the year and they have been fearlessly inviting several discerning users, yours truly included *chest thumps*, to try it out. The techno-masochist in me had a field day thinking of possible stress test scenarios for this special purpose.
When Bim from Smart said “download anything you can think of. Anything that’s legal, of course, LOL,” only one thing came to my mind: the massive 5.06Gb Adobe Creative Suite 5. To add to the challenge, I used the same browser to watch a full HD 1080p trailer of Summer Wars while the download is ongoing followed by me playing GodsWar Online, a flash-based MMORPG from IGG (that would on normal occasions freeze intermittently after around 30 minutes of continuous game play). Below’s a screenshot of the activity:
The shot of the screen above was set up with a direct-to-PC connection at the briefing hub in Astoria, Boracay. My download speed averaged 1MB/s or 8Mb/s. The real test, for me, however, should be when I take the Smart LTE dongle up to my room, a considerable distance away from Astoria, and see for myself how this would fare wirelessly from there. Proceeding to download Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 trial version that’s around 1Gb in size, thinking the LTE technology would fail to deliver anything better than the 1MB/s speed from hours before, it finished in 8-9 minutes tops at speeds between 2.19 to 2.3MB/s ( or 17.52Mb to 18.4Mb/s!). More than twice as fast from my previous experience! My laptop must have felt euphoria that time because the 1Gb download finished in 8-9 minutes LOL.
“LTE is a mobile standard which promises, at present, actual download speeds of up to 70Mb/s (as proven during the launch in Boracay) or roughly 35 times faster than that of the current 3G standard. It is 100% future-proof as it is designed from the ground up to handle massive amounts of data.
“With this, end users can fully enjoy multimedia streaming and downloads on their mobile devices faster than they could even on fixed-line DSL and cable internet connections” – Smart Communications.
I raised several questions during the test and briefing: when do consumers get it, who gets it first, and how much can we have it for? Smart LTE is currently slated for public release in December 2011 but the infrastructure is now established in Metro Manila and Boracay. Cebu, Davao, and other major Philippine cities and municipalities will follow shortly, Anne Binuya of Smart shared. There may be times when the 4G signal would go down to lower speeds depending on the location, similar probably to what I experience on my mobile phone with Smart’s HSPA when mobile. They mentioned that pricing would definitely be higher than the current rates for mobile broadband but there’s no final plan amount yet. Hopefully it’s friendly on my budget because I’m missing the speed already and I’ve been itching to change ISPs for a while now.
Traveling to Boracay on a Saturday and back in Manila again on Sunday was worth getting a taste of something exciting from the near future, all thanks to Smart. Since we’re in one of the best beaches in the world and since we were afforded some free time, we got to beeline towards a small store called Jonah’s Fruit Shake (not an advertorial, mind you), the undisputed must go to place in Boracay for fruit shakes LOL, thrice in 24 hours! Thanks for suggesting the Avocado-Banana variant, Bim. IT WAS THE BOMB LIKE YOU SAIT IT WOULD BE!!!
Disclosure: airfare, living, and accommodation expenses for the one-day LTE testing event in Boracay was entirely paid for by Smart Communications.Continue reading...
With me is a smart phone that’s purported to be the slimmest in the market for its category (at 8.49mm, much much slimmer than a AAA battery!), light weight (116g), sleek (with 4.3 inches of ultra vibrant display), powerful (dual-core 1.2GHz), fast (1Gb RAM), with improved standby and talk time (1,650mAh battery), and so feature-packed (runs on Google’s latest Gingerbread Android OS) that you’d have no problem whatsoever with it keeping the namesake of its predecessor (hint hint!). Delicious sneak preview photos below.
If those sexy photos didn’t get you swooning, I’m sure they got you wanting. Real bad.
Every week for three weeks, get a chance to guess the phone brand and model of this featured smart phone on fritzified.com. For each of those weeks, three lucky readers will get to take home a 2Gb baller band USB each. Don’t give a rat’s ass about the flash drive? Wait, there’s more! On the third week, I’ll be drawing from the list of participants from all the three weeks prior a name who gets to take home one spanking new *toot* brand smart phone (may not be the featured phone but still a smart phone worth thousands upon thousands of pesosesosesoses!!!) Submit an entry every week and you get to up your chance of winning the coveted grand prize. Awesomecakes! (see contest mechanics below)
This week’s smart phone feature highlight: Voice Talk. From the list of apps that come with the phone, you’ll find a green mic icon labelled “Voice Talk.” Activate and use it to either: (1) get the phone to convert speech into text and send said text to your identified recipient (2) call a contact, (3) reply to last text message, (4) navigate the phone, (5) use maps for physical navigation, (6) update facebook, (7) compose email with subject, (8) create a memo, (9) check your calendar schedule, and (10) play music. How does it fare with my voice commands? I’ll up a detailed review right after the contest period during the week of June 21st so stay tuned!
ZOMG Contest La La La La (open only to Philippine residents):
1. email your answer with the subject “ZOMG What’s That Phone?! Week 1” to fritz.tentativa at gmail dotcom.
2. deadline for submission of answers is on June 12, 11:59PM
3. a person may only submit one entry per week despite his/her extensive database of dummy email addresses (you wise ass LOL)
4. winners will be announced and published on June 13, Monday right before the start of the second week of the contest.
5. winners will be chosen randomly via randomizer.org
6. for the grand draw, should the lucky winner be so lucky to win in two or three other websites holding a similar contest, I will have to draw a new winner from the pool of qualified contestants. Don’t be greedy LOL
7. randomizer.org results are final
8. winners will be notified via email
Good luck and spread the word to your girl friend, boy friend, wife, husband, bossing, kraz, pangalawang panganay, yaya, pinopormahan, kinakalaguyo, or scholarship recipient LOL, now na!Continue reading...
I’m sharing with you something that made the geek in me drop every and go “ZOMGYAYNOSTALGIA!” while doing office spring cleaning. Look! A SyQuest 5.25″ Removable Cartrige! I was holding this… this THING and I probably looked like what the great Alexander Bell would should he get ahold of a smart phone from the future (a Nokia N8, not an iPhone, excuse me LOL). Did a little search and I found out that SyQuest was one of the earlier players in the removable mass storage market in late 80s and that some aspects of its business were acquired by iOmega years before SyQuest filed for bankruptcy in 1998. BUT WHO CARES, RIGHT? This right here is like the level of a 64Gb SDHC flash memory card of 2010, only two entire decades ago where 88Mb was like WHOA WHO WOULD EVER NEED THAT MUCH MEMORY PRAY TELL (the cartridge back label says (c) 1988-1991 SyQuest Technology)?!
For what seems like eons ago during my first job, we’d annually get a shipment box with 20 or so micro floppy diskettes containing a software (A Plus Tax) for the year’s US Tax Return preparation jobs. For a paltry 28.8Mb of data, we would have to wait from several weeks to several months before the order arrives. One bad sector in one diskette from package mishandling and you’re back to square one. Thinking about expensive shipping cost, too long a lead time before product receipt, pounds of costly and relatively heavy plastic diskette material, and a very time-consuming, spanned-disk install procedure, I’m glad we’re so over what for me is the stone age of storage, saving the environment and money along the way.
1.44Mb formatted? Pft. I’m so compelled to compare the micro floppy to the micro SD card right now but that wouldn’t be fair challenge. Instead, I dissected the micro floppy and compared its tape with a similar sized mini DVD-RW with 1.46Gb capacity. 1000x the storage, exponentially better looking with rainbow refract powers!
Still on the subject of memory, here’s another blast from the past. Back when Canon used to only have 1-megapixel cameras as their top of the line offering, the SD card on the left of the image below may have been very useful, something I won’t even think of using with my 18-megapixel Canon 550D. LOL.
On a more personal note, I used to zip and span 5-10Mb sized short film clips in micro floppies. I’d usually carry a box at a time for file transfer purposes. Remember Yahoo! Briefcase? It was easily a go-to portal for free mass storage offered to anyone with a Yahoo! email address/registration. With a limited storage space of 5Mb that later on grew to 50Mb, users (like me!) ended up making multiple email accounts just to avail of additional free storage space (because I’m “cost effective” like that LOL). Versus my diskettes, Yahoo! Briefcase is like free, exquisite, 3-Star Michelin rank restaurant prepared cuisine and the former a bland, over-priced hospital cafeteria food.
It pained me some when Yahoo! decided to discontinue the service in 2009 but only on the basis of nostalgia. As soon as I heard, I immediately checked my never-for-around-5-or-6-years-used-nor-visited Briefcase to view the contents and found several Sony Ericsson ringtones I painstakingly composed by ouido because, yes, apparently, I was a bored “secret mobile phone instrument musician” in the past. Saw some midi files there, mp3s, and some, um, “very informative” video clips that I’d rather keep to myself (evilsmirk). I’ve long forgotten the art and technique of ringtone composing (moreso that I once dug ringtone composing) but remembering what I did at one point in the not-so-far-away time made my heart flash a warm, toothy grin.Continue reading...
Orosman at Zafira, directed and choreographed by Dexter Santos originally for the Komedya Fiesta in 2008 of Dulaang UP, is still currently being staged at the SM Mall of Asia Centerstage Theater for a limited time until February 26. It was a little too late for me to plug the show in 2008 because I only got to watch it on its last day. Bummer. I was, still am, and will probably remain forever in total awe of the play’s production value and wonderfully orchestrated modern-sounding-yet-local-in-ethnic-feel music coupled with top notch contemporary movement, showcasing yet again the essence of true Filipino talent.
The play is classified as a “komedya” and written by the revolutionary Francisco Balagtas. Most, like me for example, who are not really in the know of the lesser popular works of even our esteemed playwrights, may not give this production a second look. As nothing can stop awesomeness from spreading by word of mouth or in blogs and status updates, much to the disappointment of the growing fan base who can’t stand seeing the cast perform just once, each and every air date and time of the play in 2008 got sold out. On August of 2010, for Dulaang UP’s 35th Season, being a truly magnificent play to showcase, Orosman at Zafira was hand picked as the first of five plays to be restaged in “Return Engagement: Plays Deserving a Second Look.” It enjoyed the same “box office hit” status prompting the producers to extend with one more staging on the show’s last day. Orosman at Zafira has since been hailed as “a breakthrough production of the Baltazar classic.” In some circles, even, the play has been dubbed as the “300″ of local theater, where well sculpted 6-pack abs could well be the top casting requirement for the male actors (in this year’s run, however, all the abs have perished save for Orosman’s LOL).
Some enhancements got incorporated with this run of Orosman at Zafira at the SM MOA’s Centerstage Theater since the seating capacity and the stage got ridiculously bigger. Though the grasses got taller, scafoldings were made to good use in the chorepography, dancers started doing acrobatics as they are lowered onto the main stage from above with carabiners, and almost every one of the cast getting lapel mics, the production still managed to deliver the same quality of entertainment both old fans and first time audiences will surely enjoy.
I can still remember fondly how tired I’d be as a spectator right after a show owing to the movements on stage (seeing the landscape change before your eyes as part of the choreography) and the overwhelming beauty of the sound of both modern and native musical instruments (heard of the “gangsa, sarunay, tungatong, balimbing, kubing/kullibaw, and kullitong?” Exactly!) : a perfect fusion of modern and native elements (original, read ORIGINAL, music composition by Carol Bello) accompanying the actors’ sincerest vocal renditions conveying the right emotions at the right moments. It still gave me chills to witness the burial scenes and the dance styles during the war scenes, meticulously directed and choreographed to distinguish one tribe’s innate culture from another.
Maita Ponce’s Zafira and Jay Gonzaga’s Orosman, from my perspective, gave the strongest portrayals of their respective characters compared to other actors who have done the roles in the past. Not only do they have great vocals, they also easily project feelings with a dimension so raw and thick, one would have no trouble believing and empathizing as the drama of their lives and tribes unfold. So believable, in fact, that they’ve raised Orosman and Zafira as the hands-down lead characters of the play, unlike in the past when both seemed rather weak. Santos’ direction of Orosman at Zafira gives any one of the major actors the ability to steal the show depending on how feirce they become on set. There this Zelim character, for example, leader of the tribe Duquela (portrayed in the past by both JC Santos and JM De Guzman who gave fight scenes during the second run a complete turn around with his epic choreography), who may easily overshadow everyone on the stage with his characteristic strong moves and badass overall vibe.
Of course, Judith Javier’s Gulnara and Tao Aves’ Zelima are classics. They’ve both been very bankable in their roles since the first run in 2008 to the point that I probably can’t picture nor accept anybody else being Gulnara (Zafira’s mother in law) and Zelima (the narrator-slash-daughter of the Tedenst “pacha’s” right hand). Fanboy much? LOL
Three years from the first time Orosman at Zafira first graced the stage, it still hasn’t lost its magic. I won’t be writing down a synopsis because letting the plot unfold before your eyes and letting the production assault your senses as the scenes progress is, again as I saw it, part of the delight that is your own personal Orosman at Zafira experience (if you fear becoming lost in traslation with the language used in the play, go buy the souvenir program from the gate. It’s got the Acts written down in sizable bites and in English for your enjoyment).
The supposed ho-hum Tiger year for “Dragons” is drawing to a close and the incoming Rabbit year is supposed to bestow upon our breed a “positive star that will bring new wealth.” From several online sites with Chinese Horoscopes, some even claim that Dragons are given powers to ward off or negate negative vibes and/or bad luck (I picture this in my mind as some “rare item” from RPGs LOL). Can’t wait for February 3 to come so I can fearlessly say, BRING IT ON, 2011!
Crumpler, a popular Australian manufacturer of colourful and very functional bags, celebrates Chinese New Year with the release of the Chinese New Year Limited Edition Rabbit Collection. Everything’s in bright red on the outside and encrusted with a limited release gold woven Crumpler badge detail. The inner lining has an origami tonal print and, upon close inspection, in the very midst of those triangles, is the “rabbit motif.”
What Crumpler had me try out is the Hillman Hunter. Currently, I have around 5 sports bags, any one of which can accommodate my wall-climbing gear, a padded camera bag for my trusty DSLR, compact flashes, and lenses, a backpack for corporate, a messenger bag that changes color with a flip and flop, two luggages for travel, and, just recently, I got the Musichead: a jacket that conveniently turns into a sling bag.
What sets the Hillman Hunter apart from all my other bags is its size: not too big but ample in space versus, let’s say, just having stuff inside my jean pockets while hand carrying most others (trivia: if I could pocket my stuff, I usually go to work without a bag). Since it’s by Crumpler, a proud new owner of the Hillman Hunter will definitely feel that every detail incorporated in the bag has been well thought of and functional. The workmanship, top notch. Mine had no loose thread anywhere and the materials (the strap, velcro, compression straps with snap-on locks, safety reflector) all feel solid and sturdy. It has a non-abrasive surface that won’t damage clothes on friction. Unlike other Crumpler messenger or laptop bag models, with its size being a limiting factor as to its weight and possible contents, the Hillman Hunter doesn’t require a padded shoulder strap.
For the outer material, a little research at the Crumpler website for the Hillman Hunter gave me this:
“the bag features a super strength water resistant 900D outer, 150 Rip-stop lining, flamed polypropylene webbing, triple. strength S-Bend webbing attachment, injection moulded velcro and bonded nylon thread with bar tack stitching on all stress points.”
They had me at polypropylene. LOL. I probably wouldn’t use it as a DSLR camera bag alternate only because it does not have a padded inner lining to protect the gear. Crumpler has camera bags built for this particular purpose and the Hillman Hunter’s not one of ‘em.
From work, I tried stuffing it with my thick Zara hoodie, several containers of vitamins, my noise-cancelling headphones (cans), and the papers I got from the photography exhibit inside Glorietta. It looked just right. Also tried sliding in my mobile phone inside every one of the 4 inner pockets. Nice. The reflector strip near the base of the bag breaks the monochrome, adding to the bag’s character. Some guys may feel a bit off with the flashy red color of the CNY Hillman Hunter, though. The playful, trendy, fashion forward individuals, however, wouldn’t have a hard time getting away with carrying this head turner of a “murse” (heard from Billycoy to connote “man purse,” meh! LOL).
The Hillman Hunter is being sold locally for P3,850 from authorized Crumpler Branches (note that while I was doing research on the bag, I saw that this retails for AUD 145, some PHP 6,230~, converted, per the Crumpler website).
Below are photos of the other Crumpler Chinese New Year Limited Edition Rabbit Collection items for your reference.
SRP of the Crumpler Chinese New Year Limited Edition Rabbit Collection items:
The Squid (foldable drawstring backpack) – P 1,450
The Freckle (mobile phone case) – P 1,200
The Rabbit Charm (key chain/charm) – P 395
The Hilllman Hunter (mid-sized messenger bag) – P 3,850
The Goldschlagers Carpet (laptop envelope) – P 2,250
The Herbas (great for iPads) – P 2,450
The Headaitch (tote bag) – P 2,950
Crumpler Store, Bonifacio High Street
Crumpler Store, Trinoma Mall
Crumpler Store, SM Megamall
Crumpler Store, Robinsons Manila
I was led to believe that the YouTube icon in the Applications folder of my Nokia N8 is a “real” application until I clicked it. What it did was launch the mobile device’s default web browser. Turns out it was just a shortcut to the YouTube web URL. Worse, when you try viewing videos on the N8, the web browser would crash. Poseur! Yesterday, news had it that Google finally released for Symbian^3 an official YouTube Application with a similar interface as the app version they developed for Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. Now, N8 users will be able to easily do search, browse, view, and even comment and rate videos in a portal with a fast and user friendly interface!
I won’t only tell you how to get the YouTube app, I’ll also share screencaps of the application in action.
Using your phone’s default browser (for the life of me, I can’t seem to view the YouTube link when I used Opera Mobile), fo to http://m.google.com. For the rest of the instructions, please refer to the scaps below.
Download and install the YouTube App already! Please take time to read the Terms of Service of the application before use. Better used if you’re on WiFi connection or unlimited mobile data subscription. With it, N8 users can now sing 1:43′s “Merry Christmas naaaaaaaaaaaa… sa aking puso” with video when going around the neighborhood caroling! HORRAY! LOL. Oh, and thank you Google!Continue reading...