Boom. It’s only been two years since they opened shop in the Philippines but Starmobile is fast approaching 1 million users. Last week, the Philippine-owned smartphone company launched their Christmas lineup of 12 more Android devices: 3 smartphones, 5 Diamond series phablets and 4 tablets to complete their 2013 ‘Engage’ line.
I’ve written about Starmobile a number of times and to be quite honest this company’s manufacturing choices makes for great dinner conversation between fellow geeks. For those not in the know, let me allude to an old post I made when the Diamond series first came out in early 2013:
It is a relief that many local manufacturers have raised the bar in terms of quality while maintaining competitive price points. Starmobile is the poster child of such a phenomenon as the phones are designed locally (they are a local startup) but manufactured in China. Outsourcing OEM’s is a normal thing for these more affordable brands but Michael and Katrina have been harping the fact that what separates them from the rest is their QA testing and “small things” such as being able to cram more characters into one SMS vs other brands (and that’s a big deal if you’re on prepaid) that divide text messages into several messages.
Essentially, unlike many brands that simply do a “shopping cart” of looking through phones in a conveyor belt in China and then branding them, Starmobile designs the phones they want to spec such as the finish (type of material such as glass, plastic or metal) and other modifications and then have the devices built. This gives them better control over quality and flexibility with the phones that they intend to release in response to market trends.
In short, Starmobile has the advantage in releasing phones that cater to the local market because they can customize the builds and outsource the manufacturing. The direct competitors only pick out phones from a conveyor belt and slap some branding on.
If we’re to skim through the phones, there are some notable mentions in the flagship models. The D1 of the Diamond line is their dual SIM 5″ phablet with 3000mAh of battery life which is roughly equivalent to two iPhone batteries. The Navi is essentially the “Waze” phone that makes use of Glonass Russian satellites (nI kid you not!) to track GPS positioning.
For those of you who aren’t fond of storing data on the cloud (like iCloud or Google), Starmobile has launched their Sync app, which is by no surprise called Starmobile Sync. It’s essentially a contacts + calendar transfer app that’s meant for less tech savvy people who want to switch from their current feature phone to a Starmobile-branded device. This is a brilliant move to add convenience to the rather huge impediment of transferring contacts from a non-Android device and upgrading to a smartphone. This is sideloaded into every Starmobile phone.
I’ve embedded their entire line of phones and tablets onto this Scribd document so you can have a more detailed look into the new holiday collection:
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Bittersweet! Winamp, the little desktop MP3 player that “whips the llama’s ass” is finally shutting down. This was THE iTunes of the 90′s and one of the first apps that had a successful user-generated content model, allowing anyone to upload skins for the MP3 player.
Hey, all. Tom Pepper here, one of the two founders (Justin being the greater of the two of us.) Just wanted to thank everyone for all the support over the years. While we haven’t been involved w/ Nullsoft since the early 2000s it was incredible what you all did both for us, and for music. Our only goal was ever to make the tool we wanted to use, and it seemed to resonate with you all very clearly! I’m happy to still be working in the business, and here’s to the next great ideas yet to come!
– from Reddit
Ah the 90′s and early 2000′s of the Internet: mIRC, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, dial up connections, Geocities … Winamp was pretty much part of this.
Thanks for all the fish.
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So many choices! If you’re indifferent about the specific iPhone model you want and really just want .. an iPhone, it looks like the sweet spot for unlimited data on LTE would be the following:
- the iPhone 5c (16GB) on Plan 2000 for the UNLI Surf plan so you get your bottomless Internet package
- the iPhone 5c (16GB) on All-In Plan 1800 because even if you can get it free on Plan 2500, if you do the computations, shelling out an extra PHP 6,000 is better than the extra PHP 700 a month, which amounts to PHP 16,800 for the 24 month period lock in. This is because at Plan 1800 you’re well within range of these three promos: PHP 1,000 unlimited surfing, PHP 350 for 3,500 messages to all networks (yes including Globe!) and PHP 250 for 80 minutes of calling to all networks. So 1,000 + 350 + 250 = 1600 which leaves you with PHP 200 to consume for other things.
Click for the larger version:
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My favorite third wave community coffee shop in BF Homes is holding a creative fund raiser this Sunday for the benefit of those who were affected by the Yolanda super typhoon. This is what Jonathan posted on his Facebook wall:
As some of you may know, it was my birthday yesterday. I originally intended to give back to the community that made Magnum Opus by making coffee for the neighborhood, but because of recent events, it’s more fitting to tie in my celebration with a cause.
This Sunday, from 10:30am to 3pm, all coffees are free, but we will impose a tip-what-you-want basis. All proceeds will be donated to channels that can directly aid people affected by the Supertyphoon Yolanda, and the results will be posted through our Facebook.
I will be behind the bar to make your coffees, and the team will prepare snacks for everyone who attends as well. Let’s celebrate through charity. I’ll see you guys Sunday!
Epic. Anything that you want for the price of generosity. If you do plan to drop by (PLEASE DO!) I highly suggest being a bit more adventurous with the menu and try the Draft Spro, a signature coffee drink that could easily be mistaken for beer. But it isn’t!
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The pros of getting married in the province outweigh the cons. Perhaps the biggest challenge from my wedding last year was helping book 120++ people to different hotels around Bacolod City. That was when I discovered a service called Agoda c/o my wife. “Cheaper rates,” she said. Compared to other services, Agoda is mainly Asia-based and boasts the most number of hotels within Asia, which is its main point of focus.
I’ve been a fan of the service (on the desktop) and have been avidly using it to regularly book for personal trips since 2012. Agoda played a big part in budgeting our trip to Seoul last year as we were essentially ticking off hotels that were beyond the PHP 5,000 a night, then later found out that most of tourist places were located slightly north of our hotel. Meep. Our fault.
If you’re on board with the whole mobile app environment, Agoda is also available on iOS, Windows Phone and Android. The booking procedure has been simplified on mobile, allowing you to indicate your “travel specs” and then choosing a hotel based on the location you’re headed towards. Or if you’re already at your destination and looking for a quick overview of the area, you can choose a hotel based on vicinity. I found out that as a bonus the mobile version offers exclusive sales that you don’t find on the desktop.
In the mobile version, there’s a quick filter for ticking off whether you want a hotel with WiFi, a swimming pool (gym), or smoking rooms.
One caveat: although this does not apply to all hotels, a small number of establishments add VAT only after you make the final booking deal before entering your credit card information. So it would be a good idea to play it safe the next time you book using their service.
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A 32GB iPhone 5s that comes with a free 5c? The only question that remains now is, what color?
With the recent announcement of Apple’s new line of iPhones, it is really no secret that local telcos would be offering both phones. SMART however is the first to offer both phones in one plan. If you’ve been itching to make the switch to SMART and #livemore with new possibilities, this is a pretty tempting offer to get you to move. Or upgrade your current plan. SMART is offering BOTH the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c at INFINITY PLAN 8000.
Or, if you only need one new iPhone for the holidays, you can opt for the Prestige Plan 5000 where you get the iPhone 5s and free tickets to WICKED in 2014.
o Prestige 5000 – complimentary iPhone 5S 16GB + 2 VIP tickets to Wicked
o Premium 8000 – complimentary iPhone 5S 32GB + iPhone 5C 16GB.
Sign Up Now: http://bit.ly/SmartInfinityiPhone
Joining Infinity has its perks. I for one have been enjoying a number of benefits even before SMART had been supporting my site. As this year marks my 10th year of my postpaid, I’ve actually built good rapport with their customer service representative assigned to me waaaaay back. In fact, I’ve given a shout out to Grace Plata many years ago so, to cut to the chase, this post isn’t PR mumbo-jumbo. I’ve been paying for this service for the longest time. The only difference now is that Infinity plans have actually been made more affordable (I guess perhaps due to how technology costs, like data, have become more affordable) and the perks have gotten better.
At plan 8000, you get the 32GB iPhone 5s.
You might be wondering what the main differences would be between the customizable 5000 and 8000 plans. These plans are at obviously at a premium, so I’ve taken the liberty of doing a cut and paste from their site:
Here is a comprehensive guide to the SMART Infinity Plan Structure. As I mentioned above, the perks have gotten better. Since both iPhones are LTE-compatible, Smart has been known to offer better LTE coverage than the competitor. I for one consider LTE a boon for regular services that I use which include Instagram video uploads, the Stitcher mobile app for podcasts (SHAMELESS PLUG: I do a show with the OMGeek crew!), the PRX App (public radio exchange) for my morning drives and the iTunes Radio for music streaming.
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Yesterday, ASUS Philippines unveiled the T100 Transformer Book, essentially a follow up to the tradition of tablet + keyboard device that made a name for the Taiwanese company even before the whole Windows 8 hype was around. The Transformer Book essentially comes from the line of Transformer and Transformer 2 tablets that ran on iterations of the Android platform. In this case, ASUS has upgraded the processor to a quad core Atom Intel chip which means that (1) you’re going to get some decent computing power for daily productivity and (2) you get stretch battery life at 10-11 hours. Usually, manufacturers over-promise their battery life tests printed on the box but since the FonePad, ASUS has been posting stretch milestones with their batteries.
The T100 isn’t a sprint device. It’s meant for the marathon long haul to get your s%it done before your day ends.
Processor Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3740 Quad Core
Operating System Window 8.1 with MS Office Home & Student 2013
Main Memory 2GB
Storage 32G/64G eMMC with ASUS WebStorage
Display 10.1″ HD (1366*768) IPS with multi-touch
Graphic Intel HD Graphics
Camera 1.2Mp camera
Battery 31Whr (11 hrs)
PRICE PHP 23,995
In photo is Intel’s very own Wowie Wong and dive buddy giving his pointy finger of approval to the Transformer Book T100.
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Long gone are the days when you had to walk around town with a stack of money hidden in your pockets to purchase essential items that you use around the house. At this point, cash-only transactions limit the profitability of any company and stop it from attracting a larger number of clients. Fortunately, the expansion of overcrowded digital markets has compelled business owners to become Internet savvy and opt for ingenious, risk-free, fast online payment methods. PayPal merchant services enable both company owners and clients to receive rapid payments, after creating a merchant account. If you want to profit from a flexible, extremely convenient payment solution, keep reading to discover how to create a PayPal merchant account in a matter of a few minutes.
1) Go to the Sign Up Page
If you want to create a merchant account, start by visiting the sign up page, select your region and your language and select the type of account matching your needs and your future goals. You can opt for a personal account, adequate for personal use, or a business account, suitable for a wide range of non-profits and companies interested in receiving fast payments over the Internet.
2) Select the Best Payment Method for You
The best thing about PayPal merchant services is that they are extremely versatile and address the specific necessities and demands of a large segment of people. PayPal allows you to select the best payment method for your business. For instance, there is a special PayPal payment solution for individuals and small-scale companies planning to use merchant service to commercialize their products on eBay. There are plenty of options to choose from; all you need to do is to find the one which is just perfect for you. When in doubt, follow the written instructions and don’t hesitate to contact PayPal representatives if you still don’t know which payment solution best matches your needs.
3) Fill Out the Form with Your Contact Information
After deciding which payment solution works best for you, on your own or with just a little bit of help form PayPal, all you need to do next is to enter basic info, like the name of your business, its physical address, city, province, postal code, country; afterwards select the primary currency and then enter the business URL, customer service phone number and email. Don’t forget to provide accurate contact information (first name, last name, country, home and mobile phone number) enabling PayPal to get in touch with the company owner. After completing this phase, you’ll have to enter a valid email address, type and re-type a password for your account and then opt for a security question. By answering the security question you’d be able to recover your lost or forgotten password.
4) Carefully read the important documents and agree to PayPal’s terms and conditions
5) Type a security code and then complete the process by hitting the “sign up” button
6) Sign in to your PayPal merchant account and manage your selling tools
After completing all these steps, you’ll manage to create your very own PayPal merchant account. Getting paid with PayPal is easy, risk free and trouble-free. In fact, PayPal merchant services were designed with you in mind and implemented to allow business owners to profit from a simple, rapid, cost-effective online payment solution.
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One of my older posts has been getting a lot of attention lately. Back in July last year, I wrote about The Galleon, a new online store that delivers products very similar to ThinkGeek. It’s been more than a year and today, Galleon carries more products in their online store. There has been criticism, however, as to why Galleon’s pricing is way more expensive compared to local items available. Jeffrey Siy, from Galleon says it himself in one of the comments. I quote him verbatim as he responds to two queries as to why items in the store are more expensive:
@Adrian If you see a price here that is cheaper we suggest you go for that. We try to lower down the prices as much as possible but some are still able to provide a lower price for several reasons.
@Andy The reason it’s expensive is because it’s bulky to ship. Again, if it’s available here, you should buy it here. We specialize on items not available in the Philippines
So there you have it. As I said before, the Galleon is an online store that can bring in items that you may want from sites such as ThinkGeek that doesn’t have deliver to the Philippines. They’re useful for that sort of thing so don’t use them to buy items that you can easily source locally. Remember, Galleon specializes in products you can’t find. So if you can already find them, then …. you found them. LOL.
UG09 Globe Telecom Plaza
Mandaluyong ,Metro Manila
Office 6214482 | 4250153
Office Hours Monday to Friday – 9am to 12mn Saturday & Sunday – 8am- 5pm
support at galleon.ph
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For about PHP 3.3 million pesos, space seems just a step closer. This 2016, World View Enterprises will be launching capsules into the rim of space. The 4 hour balloon ride will take up to eight individuals up via a huge weather balloon and will glide down to the earth’s surface.
To put the costs into perspective, Virgin Galactic charges US$250,000 for a single trip up to space which makes USD $75,000 a more attractive package indeed.
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As a Note 3 owner, I’m extremely pumped for the Note 10.1. Imagine having both devices and the versatility of Air Command but on a much bigger screen. Essentially, that’s what the Note 10.1 has to offer.
During the media briefing I learned that Samsung is pushing for Android to be considered by the enterprise market. In the past, Android (and yes probably iOS) were shunned for security reasons, which is why BlackBerry and Microsoft Exchange, although legacy solutions, were still the preferred choice in the enterprise market because of their stress on security. More about that later.
In the Philippines, Samsung will only be carrying the WiFi version at PHP 26,990 which is a pretty good price.
1.4GHz Exynos Quad-Core Processor
10.1″ WXGA(1280×800) LCD
16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM)
microSD (up to 64GB)
Standard battery, Li-ion 7,000mAh
5 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash w/ front 1.9 Megapixel Camera
Introducing Knox. Named I guess after Fort Knox, this is the enterprise software that we’ve all been waiting to come on board the Android platform. Essentially, just like individual profiles that you can create in Windows, Knox allows you to create user-specific profiles that are password secured. In other words, you can now share your tablet with other people without worrying about your Calendar, Contacts, Email, Photos, etc getting exposed.
Knox is an additional security layer above the Samsung-skinned Android platform so by default, you will have to launch the app from the menu and this will take you to a new customized layer identified by a lock beside the regular icons. There’s absolutely no way you can view encrypted files, and no you can’t just launch Astro File Manager and view the contents in a folder. Photos you take in your individual profile stay there. And it’s the same with installing apps from the Samsung Store and modifying other entries.
Knox is available with the high end Android devices of Samsung, starting with the Note 3. It is also on the Note 10.1.
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Nokia finally has a tablet. With the not-so-epic netbook product from way back then, the marriage of Nokia and Microsoft has a child – the phone manufacturer’s first Windows RT tablet.
10.1 inch HD display
4G LTE and WiFi
Windows 8.1 RT
Just like Microsoft’s Surface tablet, the ‘Lumiabook’ will have the keyboard case option that will sell for USD $149.00. The Lumia 2520 on the other hand will sell for USD $499.00.
So is it worth buying? Pegged at roughly the same price as the Samsung Note 10.1, the main advantage of a Windows tablet powered by Nokia hardware is essentially Office 365 / Office 2013 which has been hailed as the definitive power product of Microsoft in this day and age. I kid you not. Check out my review of Office 365 when it was launched in the Philippines.
Consider a Lumia tablet if you’re after excellent hardware from Nokia (there’s no doubt I always wanted an Android powered Nokia device, but a Windows 8 powered tablet with Nokia hardware is quite competitive) and the solid enterprise + cloud solutions of Windows 8.1 and Office 365.
Apart from their flagship tablet, Nokia also unveiled the Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 smartphones as well as the Nokia Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503. Details of these products can be found in the press release below.
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Above: Lighter moments during the competition .. a #selfie below the boat.
Into the deep. You literally step in.
Then you sink.
Then sort of float up to the surface. Someone hands you the camera from the boat. And off you go.
Ah, photography. But underwater. The agony and the ecstasy of it are what contributes to the addiction.
Imagine the work it takes to set up for a shoot on land — lugging all your reflectors, lights, backdrops and what have you and set it all up on set. Now imagine having to bring all of that down with you into the deep. With SCUBA gear.
Imagine how it feels using a snorkeling mask to look into your camera’s viewfinder (I shoot with a DSLR). And it’s not just the mask that makes it harder — it’s the protective housing that keeps your camera waterproof that adds to the inches between the viewfinder and your eyes. Roughly put, it’s about a total of 3-4 inches of shooting distance between what you see in the camera and your eyes.
Now imagine doing all this while you’re running out of air.
The setting was Mactan, Cebu. It was our club’s annual underwater photo shoot out. For 2 1/2 days we were free to use Cebu as a jump off point and surface with three photos: a macro shot that usually has a critter (like a crab or shrimp or sea slug) as subject, a wide angle shot that usually portrays a reef’s flora and fauna or a big animal like a whale shark, and a photo with a diver in it. The latter was to be used by Sun Star in their tourism campaign.
The one big rule: Submit exactly what we shoot straight from the camera. Which means no cropping. No white balance correction. No photoshopping of backscatter. In my gallery, 3/5 of my images are ‘shopped and there’s no shame in admitting that. This competition is a test of skill and creativity and quite frankly, how good of a diver you are. Found that nice frogfish on the substrate? Make sure you don’t silt the sand up while taking the photo then.
As this was my first time to really join a serious photo shootout, I can account for three instances that can make or break a winning shot.
1. Choosing whether to go wide or macro on a dive
There were at least six photographers in our group plus myself. For the most part of Friday and Saturday, we did three dives a day around the Mactan area. Unlike land photography, you have to commit to one type of lens before you go down, especially if you’re on a DSLR. Point and shoot cameras have what you call wet lenses that attach to the outer portion of your camera’s housing but the norm is essentially committing to either shooting reef scenery and the big stuff or getting down and dirty with the small stuff.
One of the sites we went to was known for the small critters. I saw that everyone brought down their 60mm and 100mm lenses to shoot the small stuff. I took a gamble and brought down my Tokina 10-17mm lens with this thought: “since everyone is shooting macro, there’s always that chance that their entries might all be very similar whereas I’ll be forced to submit a different photo.” So my wide angle shot was not that of a scenic reef, but this:
On macro, this would never have been possible. The wide lens made this lionfish larger than life with its poisonous fin rays giving that close up effect thanks to my semi-fish eye set up. According to Jan, our club’s founder, this photo caught the eye of the judges and made it to a short list.
But it had one problem. It was cropped. Which brings us to rule #2…
2. If all else fails, make sure your cropping is correct
I’ve seen photos with bad white balance and bad lighting make it to the finals in competitions like this, but it seems that bad composition — cropping to be exact is the first thing they look at. That’s because cropping is something you can actually control in a photo. I actually had another photo of the same subject in mind, and come to think of it I should have submitted that, however the lionfish wasn’t as dramatic. Here it is:
The top fin ray wasn’t as “in your face” as the first, but this photo was more technically sound even with the sand on the left. In wanting to be different I forfeited other “contenders” for the wide angle category. Here were some other shots I was thinking about submitting:
I didn’t submit this because I figured everyone would be submitting photos of the pier. It was an easy 15ft dive and many photographers could easily spend more than 60 minutes shooting here. In fact, in this dive, I was originally shooting macro. I had so much air, I surfaced and changed ports and dove back in.
We did one dive with the sardine ball by Kontiki and my photos were not exactly stellar. I mean, had they been post-processed, they’d move a category up as “passable” but you’ll get what I mean when I show you some of them:
This one was too dark:
While this one had the sardines facing the other way:
For my diver shot, I played it safe with this one. It’s pretty and the dual strobes distracts you from the rest of the imperfections of the image. Turns out that Sun Star wanted to choose a “wacky” image so a #selfie shot of a diver upside down won. Cool.
I realize now that I should have submitted this shot for either the wide / diver category:
It’s definitely more powerful as the diver and sardines are swimming towards me so they’re being shot head on. The backscatter and dirt may have been forgivable. I think.
Which brings me to my last point…
3. This goes without saying but … you NEED to know who the judges are and amaze the hell out of them(!!!)
Jan told me that the lionfish stood a chance because it was different and creative. But he also told me that had the judge been someone else, the criteria would have been different as lionfish are relatively easy to spot and shoot since they move slowly.
My macro photo? Well, despite it being technically sound with the correct lighting and great creative shadows, the ugly scorpionfish lacked the “wow factor.”
For what it’s worth, joining a competition like this really hones your senses because unlike my regular “casual shooting” where I want to document critters that everyone in the group wants to catalog, this time I want to get something different. If everyone submitted a photo of some rare nudibranch species, it may not be as special to the judges anymore. The competition got my pumped. It also removes that factor of correcting everything in post, which is why I need to get it right the first time.
To end, here are some edited photos that I took from that 6-dive weekend. I hope you enjoy them!
Blub! Blub! See you soon!
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I’ve been an exclusive Mac user since 2005. It’s a phase I guess. Most of my friends went through the whole PhilMug pilgrimage and you gotta admit that at some point till about OS X Tiger, Macintosh spelled ultimate productivity. One thing though — although I was on the “Mac and will never go back craze” at the time, I had not abandoned Windows, which was precisely why Bootcamp was a boon in OS X Leopard. The drill was the same for all my MacBooks after my circa 2005 iBook to have Windows installed on the side. And for what? The games of course. It was always about the games.
The thing is, dual booting into BootCamp was always a chore and I’ve been seeing pretty epic touch screen hardware all running Windows 8 and it was really just a matter of choosing a rig off the shopping mall to update myself with what’s new in the PC hardware department. As someone who’s been reviewing computers for more than 10 years, I’ve grown quite agnostic to specs and I really need to see something out of the box to be genuinely surprised.
And so begins my little story.
Anyone who would look through an ASUS catalog will find the VivoBook S550 series to be a pretty versatile little number. The model itself has three iterations — I’ll get to this later — but what’s important to note is that on the store shelves, the standard display unit usually sold is the VivoBook S550CA or as it is simply labeled, the VivoBook S550. From the specs list, it’s quite impressive: metal finish, Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB Hard Drive and a full keyboard with numerical pad thereby pushing the screen real estate to 15.6 inches. It also has the usual bells and whistles found in most modern day laptops such as a 1.3MP webcam, HDMI port, 3 USB ports (one of which is USB 3.0), SD card reader, Super DVD writer, VGA out, and your RJ45 LAN cable slot. Oh and did we mention touch screen for Windows 8? Yeah pretty epic. And guess how much? Around PHP 35,000. Boom.
But that’s the standard package and as a gamer, I was a bit disappointed to see that this stock model came with an integrated graphics card found in most ultrabooks. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 will run Portal 2 but if you’re going to get geared up for next-gen gaming, you’ll definitely need a more powerful graphics card from NVIDIA or ATI. Which is where the story gets interesting.
It seems that ASUS keeps some stock of a second iteration, the VivoBook S550CM, which is everything I just mentioned above, but comes with a pretty doped up graphics card — the NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M (with 2GB DDR3 VRAM). That’s an upper-middle range video card right there. And guess what? It costs almost the same.
I usually configure my devices at a local 3rd wave coffee gallery called Magnum Opus. If you read some of my work on 8List, you’ll see how I give this place heavy praise for its great coffee and well, the really fast LTE signal that permeates throughout the BF Homes area. Full bars. 1 megabyte per second downloads. Yay. OK so there’s a point to all of this. When I posted the box on Facebook, it appears that Jonathan Choi, head bean of MO also had the same rig and we compared notes as to how “special” it was to find such a unit. It’s the perfect computer for the price and specs. It’s too generous to be honest and that’s the amazing thing. It seems that ASUS doesn’t keep a huge stock of this higher end model (where “higher” really just means a better video card) and Jon had to really search for it. It was the same experience with me as I got the unit directly from ASUS and had to inquire further about the model with the built in GT 635M video card. If you bump up the stock 4GB RAM to 8GB, it would perform much better. As it is with the stock RAM, you’re getting 58fps on Borderlands 2 and 34fps on medium settings for Skyrim. So that will definitely boost your performance.
If anything, I really would like to urge ASUS to re-market this fine piece of work to gamers on a budget and not let its less powerful sibling take the center stage. Jonathan tells me he got his unit for around PHP 35,000.00 but ASUS’ official SRP is at PHP 36,995.00 so yeah, it is still quite a deal! As I said, it’s almost too generous: you get the widescreen real estate of 16:9 plus you get to run most games between middle to high graphics settings. And the finish looks fantastic.
Buy it. It comes with a nice bag. Go.
Intel® Core™ i5 3317U Processor
Intel® HM76 Express Chipset
DDR3 1600 MHz SDRAM, 2 x DIMM socket for expansion up to 8 GB SDRAM
15.6″ 16:9 HD (1366×768) LED Backlight Glare panel
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 635M with 2GB DDR3 VRAM
2.5″ SATA // 500GB 5400
HD Web Camera
Integrated 802.11 b/g/n
Built-in Bluetooth™ V4.0 (Optional)
10/100/1000 Base T
1 x COMBO audio jack
1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
1 x USB 3.0 port(s)
2 x USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
1 x HDMI
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Thought: I’ve always wanted an app that would inform me of a good bargain. Foursquare sorta did that with the food industry and other brand-specific apps do something similar, but with exclusive ties to its conglomerate of stores. What I was looking for: a brand-agnostic app that would inform me of sales, promos and discounts whether they be food, credit card promos, in-store promos and even online shopping deals.
WhatsOnSale is a relatively new app that pushes news about sales, promos and discounts into your smartphone. Currently available on iOS, WhatsOnSale takes a look at your general location and prompts you with nearby promos. In that sense, it’s similar to Foursquare but it goes beyond food.
In the promo below for instance, I wanted to take a look at credit card promotions. If you think about it, the app makes a good case for choosing a credit card company based on the number of promos available. In this case, BPI is the clear winner.
Though promos based on geolocation is pretty neat, I still prefer browsing the full list of categories. You’ll be surprised to know that there really is a rich list of establishments that go on sale regularly and if you contextualize this with holidays such as Halloween, you’ll see a healthy listing of hotel promos for that day so you can do an informed comparison between establishments.
Although WhatsOnSale supports coupons I haven’t encountered any. The promos are actually just a compilation of listings with the corresponding contact information of the establishments to inquire further.
If I were to nitpick, the overall design and layout isn’t too appealing, given that it uses the carousel-style scroll similar to iTunes. I would have honestly preferred an option to have the promos in tile format rather than the rolodex-inspired spinning. But that’s really just minor.
To sum it all up, WhatsOnSale does only one thing, but does it quite surprisingly well: it keeps you informed of all the promotions and discounts across several establishments. I would highly suggest downloading the app and do a quick browse this coming holidays. It will definitely make your Christmas shopping more informed!
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Today marks the launch of NBA 2k14 in the Philippines. Distributor XPlay is holding an event today to commemorate the launch. Datablitz, perhaps the most popular retailer of video games has released the prices. As expected, PC master race is the most affordable.
PS3 – R3
X360 – NTSC-J
PS3 – P2,395.00
X360 – P2,195.00
PC – P1,295.00
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So I was like “My wife would probably like this phone. Total, she was already using a Galaxy Mega.” For those who don’t know, the Samsung Galaxy Mega was the 6.3″ precursor to the Note 3 sharing similar hardware features such as NFC and LTE compatibility.
Then my name was called. Chedeng!
At home, the Android family of phones being used are almost exclusively Samsung starting with my super old, yet still trustworthy Galaxy SII, the smartphone that started Samsung’s ascent into becoming the poster boy of the Android OS. Humor me with the unboxing photos.
Following the trend of minimalist packaging, the box really occupies a small footprint. The brown paper look gives it that classic 80′s feel that makes you want to smell it (it smells like a bookstore). Popping open the hood is the Galaxy Note 3, in all its glory, with stylus sheathed.
Now hear this: don’t throw away the outer cover. If you look inside it, there’s a free scratch-it coupon for the premium version of Trend Micro’s Mobile Security and Antivirus software for Android phones and tablets. Normally, if you were to download the APK from the PLay Store, you’ll only get 30 days trial of the premium features. The scratch-it card gives you 6 months! The premium version gives you the following:
Premium (PAID) Version includes:
–Lost Device Protection: includes anti-theft features that let you find, lock and wipe a missing device.
–Data Theft Scanner: warns you of apps that potentially steal your information
–Safe Surfing and Call & Text Filtering: keeps you and your kids safe by avoiding unwanted contact and content
Unlike other Android tablets, the Note 3 comes with a USB 3.0 charger. If Apple moved to Lightning Cables, Samsung uses a more ubiquitous USB 3.0 cable which you usually find in higher capacity hard drives, which means they are more easily available in the market if you need to buy more.
Inside the box you also have a pack full of these:
I had no clue what this was for. Initially I thought that the pegs are used to remove the SIM card but that’s just weird (why so many?!). It turns out that these are extra tips for the S-Pen and the metal thing is the tool to help you remove and replace the tips. How generous!
Battery life for the Note 3 is confirmed to be at 3200 mAh.
Putting all that together, you have the completely unboxed package together with the earphones and the in-ear plugs.
Saving the best for last, I would like to show you the best feature of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3. I can’t get over it. Please watch this video.
What a nice, sexy leather back.
Brief Specs Rundown:
Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (N9005)/ Exynos 5 Octa 5420 (N9000)
Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 (N9005)/ Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 (N9000)
Adreno 330 (N9005)/ Mali-T628 MP6 (N9000)
USB 3.0 charging and file transfer
32 or 64 GB storage w/ 3GB RAM
microSD card expansion up to 64GB
13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Video recording at 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps (N9005)/ 1080p (N9000)
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is first available through SMART Communications.
Plan // Price
1800 P4776 or P199/month with 24 months lock-in
Unli Postpaid Plan
Plan // Price
2000 FREE with 30 months lock-in
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I made a quick trip to Cebu last week for the 3rd Student Marketing Congress in Cebu. More than 3,000 students (and my biggest crowd yet) can get a tad overwhelming. I was there to talk about effective websites but repurposed my talk to discuss blogging and content because well, it was really more fitting to a crowd of teenagers. That’s me with Boy Abunda, one of the other speakers on celebrity marketing.
Also, I snuck in some diving. Here’s a #Selfie. Boy, what a September.
This month also marks the 1st year anniversary of 8List.ph, a project that I started with the ID8 team. Running this blog for more than six years I wanted to do something that veered away from just technology and since list sites were in, it was a great pattern to follow. Now here’s a photo of food (BonChon saves the day — 633-1818!) during our editorial meetings. Finally, good competition to KFC’s hot shots — the BonChon chicken poppers
Unlike other list sites like Cracked (which I totally admire), Listverse and Buzzfeed which let you scroll down to an almost infinite number of items per list, we stuck with 8. That was the value proposition. Someone at the conference asked why this was so and I told her that 5 was too little and 10 was too many. 8 was just right. And it forced a lot of editorial creativity out of my (super epic) team so that they don’t take content for granted.
I made the allusion of effective content marketing and websites to some of the greatest works in literature. Websites are literature. All great classic works have structure: a sonnet has meter, rhyme structure and ends with a rhyming couplet. A Japanese haiku uses the 5-7-5 syllable structure among many things. 8List was similar because it was abiding by a certain set of rules. I drew that inspiration from one of my favorite webcomics titled ‘Dinosaur Comics’ which uses the same panel over and over again, everyday.
To the students who attended the marketing congress over the weekend, I’d love to hear from you here (I’ve seen lots of comments from Instagram and Twitter but it would be great to see you here too!). To my editorial staff, we should do Bon Chon meetings more often.
Warning: Photos of food to follow!
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Australia is the only country that is also a continent, and with a population of 22.68 million it is definitely a place to send your product when you expand into the international market. Australia’s biggest exports are related to the mining industry, with everyday items being exported in. This is good because there is little competition with Australian made products, but there is competition with the main importer, China. Not only does China have a high production rate, it is also probably cheaper to ship from China to Australia, since it is closer. It is also important that you make sure that the product you produce is wanted by an Australian audience. If your product does not have a market, then trying to expand into Australia will only cost you money.
Australian Made Products
In 2005-2006, only 10 percent of the products that were consumed in Australia were made domestically; everything else was imported in. This is good news for those who have a business that is prepared to ship internationally, as the product will likely have a market. There are a few things that are still domestically produced on a large scale. The largest products made in Australia are automobiles. Companies like Ford and Toyota both have factories in Australia, as well as the domestic company Tomcar. Australia also has a large chemical industry, making internationally known brands like Velvet soap and Solvol. No Australian clothing lines currently make their clothing domestically. The fact that imported goods are the norm means that there will be no social stigma over a product that is made in another country, as well as little loyalty towards locally produced brands.
Shipping to Australia
Shipping Australia is definitely a daunting task, especially when your product is not made in a country far across the globe. Prices can be steep as everything has to either be flown in or shipped on a boat. China, as the main importer to Australia and being relatively close, has extremely low shipping rates in comparison. It may be a smart business move to produce your product in China and then ship to Australia. Another option may be to ship to China first. Not only can this save you shipping costs, but an experienced liaison will know all the ins and outs of shipping to Australia.
Is the Product Needed?
The big question is whether the product will sell or not, and as long as it is well advertised it will. Research has to be made on what kind of goods the different provinces and counties of the country need, in comparison to others. For some provinces, because of their isolation, it takes longer for products to get there. Some shipping services may not regularly service the area, or simply not service it at all. This could be something to take advantage of as it is an easy market, but could also raise your shipping costs as well. Any product that is marketed well can create substantial revenue, but in Australia it is easier for that product to be marketed as there are not as many competitors. Australia is definitely somewhere where a product will do well, and appeals to an Internet based market.