Modern society has turned into a disposable culture over the last two decades. Before the 80s, people were more conscious about the gadgets and appliances they have in their homes. They take very good care of them and if they do malfunction, the first thing adults did was to bring it to a repair shop or troubleshoot it themselves. Very rarely do you see them shrug their shoulders, throw away the broken gadget, and then buy a new one. [Read more…]
A Friend In Need
I’m helping out my friends from the UA&P – IShareHappiness Blog Team.
Whenever you feel pessimistic, angry, troubled, frustrated, and depressed – what have you – you need someone to talk to. Someone who could help you be more optimistic and help make you feel that there is hope. Sometimes it’s hard to talk to someone you know. We know of a trustworthy and empathetic person who can help you readers out there.
IShareHappiness is there to help you. So come Visit the Site… And Share the Happiness.
IShareHappiness is having a contest and will be giving away an IPOD TOUCH…
WIN AN IPOD TOUCH FOR FREE
Sounds good to me…This is a very good idea that made want to join this contest and it so simple and so easy to join all you have to do is make post about the contest and just fire away…
Thanks to the QuickStop Project — BackPackers Crew for the heads up on the contest and for the post Win An IPOD TOUCH from IShareHappiness.. And now I’m very Excited about it, and I hoping I would win (yey!)
Here’s How You can join the Contest…(if I understand It Correctly)
Make a 100 word review about this contest, then make a link to the contest post and then to the ISHAREHAPPINESS home page. Which gives you 10 points… Yey, since I have this post already I have 10 points.
And if you would check my sidebar… IShareHappiness’ link is in there. (haha) Plus 5 points. I added the IShareHappiness to my Technorati Favorites… Also you can add them to your Technorati Favorites (which gives you 2 points)
And also try subscribing to their feeds.
Then next part… adding the links on multiply, friendster, myspace
SO share the happiness, and win an IPOD touch..Link away People…
For more details of the contest… Visit IShareHappines
Better Hurry this contest is until March 24, 2008 at 12:00am Manila Time (GMT +08:00 Hong Kong). The Winner of the iPOd TOUCH will be announced on March 25, 2008 at 6:00pm Manila Time (GMT +08:00 Hong Kong).
We Live in a World of Cons
Conventions and conferences, that is. (If you thought of the seedier “con”, that’s not wrong, too.) For simplicity’s sake, let’s lump in trade fairs, exhibits, and symposia to our little word for the day.
Browsing through today’s dailies reveals a lot of cons being held all over the sprawling conurbation I call home, Metro Manila. For sure, there are many more being planned and held in wealthier cities in wealthier countries, as I write these words.
These cons run the gamut of conceivable interests, hobbies, and disciplines. In one international computer science magazine alone, I found around 40 computing-related events to be held around the world in the next three months. Just last month, the FCRC 2007 in
And that is just for one field. Year after year, in this little, Third World corner of the world where I live in, cavernous malls (the Philippines has 3 of the world’s largest 10), five-star hotels, and expo grounds are flocked by millions of not-so-rich yet not-so-poor people attending book cons, toy cons, gardening cons, computer cons, food cons, comic cons, sporting arms cons, SME cons, gaming cons, name-it cons.
It is such a vibrant scene where millions upon millions of pesos change hands, leading me to conjecture that if it weren’t for a glaring and yawning gap between those above and below the poverty line, the
For me, today’s breadth and depth of cons in any country demonstrate:
1) A decent, if not great, spending power on the part of the consumers (better if there are lots of them, e.g. 11-million strong Metro Manila);
2) A decent, if not great, confidence on the part of companies, businessmen, and the cons’ sponsors;
3) An effective communications infrastructure – newspapers, magazines, TV, radio country-centric websites/forums/e-groups – with a good subscriber base. This spurs consumer participation and, consequently, helps sustain the success and commercial viability of the cons.
4) The advancement of a society as it moves from general interests to more focused ones – a computer scientist now has the luxury and resources to specialize in multi-agent systems, a green thumb specializes in cacti and succulents, a video gamer specializes in MMORPGs. Best of all, the market is wide enough accommodate both the general cons and the specialized cons.
I haven’t attended a wide variety of cons (I’ve gone to mostly tech and arts events), but I do feel blessed that I live in this “con world”. I know that if and when I delve into a new hobby or interest, chances are there’s a con already waiting for me…as long as the hobby’s not too obscure, of course. (But even then, there are esoteric cons!)
What does this “world of cons” offer me?
I view cons as a venue for education. It’s a good place to pick up both the basic and advanced facets of a field; to learn the types of people, organizations, and products tied to it; to familiarize one’s self with the unique terminologies and idiosyncrasies of the hobby; to broaden one’s view of – this will sound cliché – the world.
I view cons as a venue for human networking. Which is quite a daft conclusion, as cons are meant to make one person interact with another person. (Or at least, make one company/product/institution represented by a person interact with another person.) It’s one of the best places to build your list of contacts, clients, employers, partners, and even rivals.
Last but not the list, I view cons as a venue for shopping therapy. Cons often boast of discounted or hard-to-find products. These events present a great (if not the best) array of related products, from the mainstream to the arcane, all in one roof. Cons also present the best way to empty your wallet (and assure yourself of an empty stomach), just to get that wondrous feeling of, “W00t! I bought something cool for myself!”
Speaking of shopping therapy, I’ve got to save some cash, and save it soon – the 28th Manila International Book Fair is just a month away!
2007 Granado Espada Regional Tournament Results
Last June 17, the launch party for Granado Espada (GE) Open Beta was held at Zouk, Singapore. Considering GE’s reputation for being one of the newest and biggest MMORPGs to go live this year, it’s no surprise that the launch party featured a lot of major events.
Perhaps the most important event to take place, though, was the first ever GE Regional Tournament, featuring two-player team match-ups in a PvP championship format. Two representatives each from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam flew in to play in the tourney with their Singaporean counterparts — it was quite literally a battle between the best players in the region. Other qualified gamers from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam also competed in the tourney, playing in real-time from their respective countries.
Singapore and Malaysia dominated the PvP tournament, with cara and Nuub of Malaysia triumphant as the champions and RavaNa and Voyage of Singapore as runner-ups. Interestingly enough, all four players came from the same in-game guild: Yakisoba, on the sgGE Cervantes server. It speaks a lot of how well the guild trains its members.
The Philippines also won two special awards in the tourney: the Most Valuable Player title went to Mark Anthony Sta. Ana, a Philippine representative to Singapore, while the local qualifying team-up of Rommel Reyes and Shun Chun Leam snagged the Most Supporting Team award.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at the D5 Conference
There were many interesting things to discover and enjoy at this year’s D conference, D5. One such example was Microsoft Surface. But surely the biggest highlight of the event was the interview with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs for the first time in twenty years.
Before turning into the two icons representing the two biggest rivals in the computer industry, Bill and Steve were first and foremost pioneers and visionaries whose work catapulted them and their companies into great success. D5’s interview quickly reminds us to cease the hostilities if at least for one night, and simply be in awe of their presence.
Kara: So let’s get started. I wanted to ask, there’s been a lot of mano-a-mano/catfight kind of thing in a lot of the blogs and the press and stuff like that, and we wanted to–the first question I was interested in asking is what you think each has contributed to the computer and technology industry, starting with you, Steve, for Bill, and vice versa.
Steve: Well, you know, Bill built the first software company in the industry and I think he built the first software company before anybody really in our industry knew what a software company was, except for these guys. And that was huge. That was really huge. And the business model that they ended up pursuing turned out to be the one that worked really well, you know, for the industry. I think the biggest thing was, Bill was really focused on software before almost anybody else had a clue that it was really the software.
Walt: Bill, how about the contribution of Steve and Apple?
Bill: Well, first, I want to clarify: I’m not Fake Steve Jobs.
What Steve’s done is quite phenomenal, and if you look back to 1977, that Apple II computer, the idea that it would be a mass-market machine, you know, the bet that was made there by Apple uniquely–there were other people with products, but the idea that this could be an incredible empowering phenomenon, Apple pursued that dream.
Source: TRANSCRIPT–Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at D5, Amber Israelson
That’s not even half of it. Imagine dropping everything else for that occasion just to reminisce. Stories of how Bill and Steve worked together were essentially tributes to each other’s achievements—some even complementary to each other. Apple asked for Microsoft’s help in adding floating point support to the Apple II BASIC, which it lacked. Bill got paid $31,000.
Soon Microsoft would create software for the Macintosh to penetrate the Lotus-dominated industry. The graphical user interface (GUI) would debut, Apple would survive the slump, Steve Jobs would return, and Windows 95 would become a hit.
Bill: And since that time, we’ve had a team that’s fairly dedicated to doing the Mac applications and they’ve always been treated kind of in a unique way so that they can have a pretty special relationship with Apple. And that’s worked out very well. In fact, every couple years or so, there’s been something new that we’ve been able to do on the Mac and it’s been a great business for us.
Steve: And it’s actually–the relationship between the Mac development team at Microsoft and Apple is a great relationship. It’s one of our best developer relationships.
Source: TRANSCRIPT–Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at D5, Amber Israelson
In Five Years
These days, the Microsoft Zune is going head to head against the Apple iPod, but there’s more. Bill confirms he used Macs to develop software for the Xbox 360 during its early years. “And we never ran an ad on that,” quips Steve.
They go on to infer what computers will be like in five years. Which form factors work and which won’t? Bill still believes in his tablet PC despite its relatively low popularity, as well as several other screen sizes that won’t necessarily compete with one another:
you still won’t want to edit your homework or edit a movie on the screen of that size. And so you’ll have something else that lets you do the reading and editing and those things. Steve brings up Google Maps on the iPhone as a great example of an application that works much better on a specialized client (rather than the broweser). Phones and iPods will become post-PC devices.
The interview goes further to cover their thoughts on the Internet, entertainment, and even 3D. At this point Steve Jobs has kept mum about the Apple products that are still under wraps.
Walt: Bill discusses all his secret plans. You don’t discuss any.
Steve: I know, it’s not fair. But I think the question is a very simple one, which is how much of the really revolutionary things people are going to do in the next five years are done on the PCs or how much of it is really focused on the post-PC devices. And there’s a real temptation to focus it on the post-PC devices because it’s a clean slate and because they’re more focused devices and because, you know, they don’t have the legacy of these zillions of apps that have to run in zillions of markets.
And so I think there’s going to be tremendous revolution, you know, in the experiences of the post-PC devices…
I could go on and on and on, but this post won’t do the whole interview justice. You can read the full transcript and the live coverage notes, but do yourself a favor and watch the videos for the real experience. Teasers can be found here, as well as the rest of the clips.
And here’s the answer to perhaps the biggest question of the night, “About your relationship. I mean, you’re obviously going to go down in history–history books already say it kind of thing. But what’s the greatest misunderstanding in your relationship and about each other? What would you say would be–this idea of cat fight? Which one of the many?”
Steve: We’ve kept our marriage secret for over a decade now.
Steve: No, that wasn’t my answer. You know, when Bill and I first met each other and worked together in the early days, generally, we were both the youngest guys in the room, right? Individually or together. I’m about six months older than he is, but roughly the same age. And now when we’re working at our respective companies, I don’t know about you, but I’m the oldest guy in the room most of the time. And that’s why I love being here.
Walt: Happy to oblige. Happy to oblige.
Steve: And, you know, I think of most things in life as either a Bob Dylan or a Beatles song, but there’s that one line in that one Beatles song, “you and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” And that’s clearly true here.
And that got a standing ovation. Well done, you two.
Now you have the chance to not only read online books but you can rent textbooks or access any PDF file you download.
IPTV Will Change Everything
In my view, this year’s CES is all about enabling pervasive content distribution. And the key to everyone’s strategy here, whether Microsoft (via XBox 360) or Apple (via Apple TV), is IPTV.
Let’s be clear. IPTV is disruptive technology. Seriously. There is no better example of what a disruptive technology would look like. This is VoIP multiplied by a million.
So what exactly is the big deal? Simply put: IPTV shakes video distribution to its core. It takes control away from the big cable companies. It makes entry into cable distribution much easier, increasing competition. It puts choice in the hands of consumers. It explodes constraints: limitless channels anyone?
At a basic level, IPTV is going to create a situation where consumers only pay for the channels they want to subscribe to. That means that the channels that survive will be the ones that people want.
Imagine this situation: ESPN is the dominant sports channel. Lots of guys currently pay $50 a month or more basically to get ESPN. Sure, lots of other channels come along with it, but who cares about those channels.
Ok. So with IPTV, if things go well, you’ll be able to choose ESPN and get rid of all the other channels you don’t want (Style?).
Well, let’s say that ESPN gets on its high-horses and starts pricing a monthly subscription to its channel for $35. That seems too high. IPTV makes it easy for a competitor sports channel to come along and charge $2/month or so, undercut ESPN and force ESPNs hand to lower their prices. This is quite different than the current cable situation, with limited channels, where entry into the market is EXTREMELY hard (witness the NFL Networks desperate attempts to get added this past season).
Just thinking about the possibilities makes me shiver with excitement. This is a whole new frontier and I’m glad that I’ll be able to witness it’s development.
Games and TV
My last post featured a link to Consolevania. Very simply, this is a live-action show featuring a bunch of amusing Glaswegian ladies and gents talking about games and occasionally partaking in a comedy sketch. As in Glasgow, Scotland. There may be some of you out there who can’t make out what on Earth they are saying, but if you bear with it, you’ll find that silly sketches aside, they actually have some very informative things to say about the industry and games in general. The only complaint I have is that there is not enough episodes!
This brings me to the real issue, and one of the reasons why I like Consolevania so much. Frankly, there is simply no coverage of computer and video games on UK TV. This is an utterly nonsensical state of affairs. I can’t think of an industry as big that receives as little coverage on tv, and in fact no coverage at all aimed at what is meant to be the largest demographic (of which I in fact fit into) – males aged in their mid to late twenties.
The Downscaling of the E3 Videogames Convention
As reported in Kotaku and BBC news, what used to be the extravaganza, the greatest show in interactive entertainment history is now no more – at least in the three day ‘mega-format’ show. That’s right – E3 is changing. If you ask me, this is really a backward step for the industry as a whole, for a good number of reasons.
Videogames generally get a bad press a large portion of the time. Whether it’s Hilary Clinton using them as a bandwagon for her campaign or the latest ‘Halo murder’ story, games quite literally get a thoroughly bad press. This is both unfair and unjust, and I think E3 goes some way to making games seem acceptable and exciting.
Voting With Lines
TG Daily points out that the lines for playing Nintendo Wii were up to 1000 people long and took upwards of 6 hours to move through. Further, the booths for Sony and Microsoft were comparatively sparse.
If anyone asks you who won the e3 battle in 2006, tell them it was Nintendo and that the people voted with lines.
All the Geeks Love Wii
e3 2006 has started and if the headlines on Digg are any indications, all the geeks love Nintendo most. Whether it’s Nintendo’s forthcoming Light Gun or video footage of Mario Galaxy Gameplay or even the Wiimote’s Doppler Effect, the Geeks all seem to be Nintendo fanboys (just like us at Gadzooki!).
We’ll see if the Geek likability factor turns into sales this time around, or whether Nintendo’s Wii is just another sexy idea handled without proper execution. One thing’s for sure: the Geeks Love Gadgets and Nintendo Wii has Gadgets Galore.
Update: Another front pager on Digg: Nintendo Wii Virtual Console Images
Update 2: Another front page Digger: First Super Smash Brothers News for Wii
Update 3: Yet another Nintendo front pager: Take a Tour of Nintendo’s E3 Booth
Update 4: Wired Trashes Sony For Lack Of Innovation
Update 5: XBox 360 Gets Some Props for Gesture Recognition
Note: It is worth pointing out that almost all the Digg stories from e3 on XBox 360 & PS3 are lukewarm to negative.
Note 2: All of the updates mentioned above happened sequentially, without a single positive Digg sotry on PS3 or XBox 360