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Date: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 12:00

Last week, I bought a prepaid SmartBro LTE WiFi dongle for my wife (yes, folks even though Smart is a site sponsor, I spend my money on their services — even without discounts). I was surprised to find out two things:

1. Upon inserting the SIM card and turning on the pocket LTE device, you’re taken to a brand new splash screen — the SmartBro Dashboard which serves as a placeholder for brand new accounts and for times when you’ve reached zero balance on prepaid. Your mobile number is displayed prominently on the upper left hand side of the dashboard which makes it super convenient in case you need to reload credits and you misplaced the number somewhere.

dashboard1

dashboard2

The dashboard also enables a service called Load Protect, which defaults you to the P5.00 for 15 minutes of browsing when you’re not subscribed to a plan.

2. The MY.SMART.COM.PH portal has been revamped. It was down last week and for those who make use of this site regularly, you will now find that all the services for SmartBro prepaid has been moved to the dashboard. So in a way it is more intuitive since you don’t need to launch the website anymore and log into your account.

mysmartaccounts

Above: The my.smart.com.ph portal only displays information on all the accounts (prepaid and postpaid) that you handle. For prepaid, you will only be able to subscribe to new services using the SmartBro dashboard.

So, to summarize:

1. The new #SmartBroDashboard pops up on your browser when you have no balance or when you have a new SmartBro account.
2. This service is available for both prepaid and postpaid plans, but the latter has not been implemented.
3. You can subscribe to all your bucket plans from the Dashboard and monitor your usage. You no longer need to do this from the my.smart.com.ph portal.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Press, #SmartBroDashboard, my.smart.com...."
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Date: Monday, 30 Jun 2014 12:30

It’s a rather annoying fact of life that we often have to haul ourselves out of a nice warm bed to start our day. We’re cruelly yanked from dreamland by the electronic beep of an alarm and have maybe one or two blissful confused seconds before we need to get up and start our day, whether it’s off to work or off to school, and “Mom, just five more minutes” is a common phrase shouted at mothers across the world as they try to get their kids out of bed. Technology has made this process easier for many of us and those who work at home are subject to understandable envy. They get to log into their office intranet from their home computer, meaning their commute is just the 12 seconds or so it takes to walk to their desk. Education has also been revolutionized by technology, particularly video conferencing, meaning that while the trip to the classroom or lecture hall is still necessary, it’s possible to beam an educator or more usually, a guest lecturer, right into the room.

The concept of the virtual meeting is also beginning to shape the way that training is delivered to new employees at an organization. The fact that the medium can be used to deliver straightforward information in the manner of an instructional video, as well as allowing for an interactive question and answer session with a trainer, means that imparting relevant information to new employees via video conferencing is quickly becoming an efficient training method. While standard consumer video conferencing systems are generally not up to the job, there are a number of systems specifically developed for the corporate arena, such as those offered by Blue Jeans Group video conferencing which make the job of bringing new employees up to speed… well, rather speedy actually.

Video Conferencing for Learning
A quick Google search for “training via video conference” demonstrates just how quickly education is moving into the video conferencing arena. A vast number of freelance educators have set up businesses that have been developed specifically to exploit this method of communication. A lot of it seems very casual – usually people with varying qualifications who have set themselves up to offer lessons in an area that is generally best taught verbally, such as a foreign language. If you want to learn French via video conferencing, you can find a wide variety of options online, usually at a far more attractive price than if you were going to a traditional school or community college. The instructor has minimal overheads, and any training materials are delivered to the student in an entirely electronic format. There’s no classroom or workspace to rent and the cost of data streaming is usually covered by the teachers existing bandwidth allowance, which can even be cheaper than something used solely for recreational use, since the internet has now become a tax deductible business expense.

Training New Staff via Video Conferencing
A number of medium to large companies, generally with a diverse workforce still have a group of dedicated trainers who oversee new employee induction and training. Let’s look at retail as an example. A trainer might head from city to city on a periodic basis, conducting training sessions that might go from anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks. In larger companies these trainers might well be based in a permanent office, without the necessity of travel, but a large company with multiple outlets across the country will generally have to send the trainer to a number of different destinations. The trainer covers corporate culture, company expectations, as well as educating new employees on the actual requirements of the position, not to mention company etiquette and any technical training, such as operation of the Point of Sale system. There are often Team Building “fun” exercises which are met with amusement and/or eye rolling by the assembled group of new employees. Is this process still necessary in this day and age? Blue Jeans Group video conferencing allows trainers to work from a centralized office, still delivering the same relevant content, slashing the required time and labor, not to mention travel costs. Video conferencing allows for multiple participants and so new employees can be patched into the training session from the comfort of their own computers.

Final Thoughts
Distance education has made use of video conferencing ever since the technology became viable and corporations are slowly beginning to learn the benefits of the medium for training new employees. It allows a trainer to instruct groups of varying sizes without leaving the office, and without the employee needing to travel. Material can be delivered via email or displayed on a screen and the method also gives the options of learning at their own pace and asking follow up questions as needed. Give it a try when it comes to training new employees, and you’ll be pleased the results.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "General, bluejeans virtual meeting, skyp..."
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Date: Monday, 30 Jun 2014 11:00

Finally, we’re set to announce the winners of our #DearDadPH competition! It was a tough choice, which is why the judging process took longer than expected and we actually added a consolation prize to accommodate more winners.

Please refer to the chart below and the list of winners. We will contact you individually this week to get your details. Many thanks!

First Place
@fibiruth (Instagram)

Second Place
@fritzie_gomez (Instagram)

Third Place
@im_kaye (Twitter)

Consolation Prizes
@khaziee15 (Instagram)
@annncherryp (Instagram)
@shaneen_LA (Twitter)
@001jaam (Instagram)
@minapalencia (Instagram)

#DearDadPH Winners

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Geek, #dearDadPH, #deardadph twitter ins..."
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Date: Friday, 27 Jun 2014 05:43

Local Businesses are usually small and may not have big budgets to allocate towards marketing and promotion. However, there are certain tools that can be freely employed and results can be just as good without causing any gaping holes in your pockets. Here are some quick tips to help achieve success for the small local businesses in 2014.

Know about your competition
In order to succeed in business, however big or small, one needs to equip themselves with as much knowledge as possible. In order to attract customers who frequent other stores is to know what they are doing different. As and when you gain more information, your business gets collective insight about the industry best practices that can be incorporated in your own business to get serve your customers better.

Add value to the customer experience
With so much competition these days, it is only a matter of time when your customers move on to some other service provider or brand if they do not have a good experience. Give your customers an exceptional experience by going the extra mile. They may not remember your product but sure enough they will remember your good service. To attract more customers and retain the old ones, create events and reward and recognition for your loyal ones to stay and new ones to come. You can also plan co-marketing an event with other local business owners to attract more people and cover wider customer base.

Have promotional activities
Do plan consistent promotional activities in the closer areas so that more people can be made aware about your product and services. For example, if you are computer protection service provider, you can immitate the models of other companies like Trend Micro who offer free month internet security to get more people to try their product. Use the power of social marketing to connect with your potential customers if you are running a business online.

Spread the word
Increase the traffic to your stores or website by running small time events and promotions. This will create a buzz for your business before you get started. Start at least 45 days in advance with the promotion of your business. Make aggressive approach one week before the event when you start posting links on Facebook and other social networking websites. Also re-post reminders just one day before the actual event to remind people.

Encourage other local business owners to share your activities
This is one of the best ways to gain attention on the social media pages. You can share the activities of the other local businesses through your page which will get you more followers and traffic. This will also ensure that the other businesses are also promoting you so you enjoy double attention from different set of users. You can end up being a valuable resource for many customers who rely on your page for information. Post other interesting stories related to your industry to make up for an interesting read. These are some quick and ingenious ways to get started and gain market intelligence and expertise in your domain.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "General"
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Date: Friday, 27 Jun 2014 04:59

Out now on the Google Play Store and the local iTunes Store is the BFF Timeout App, a collaboration between McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Philippines.

What it is: a gaming app that turns the “real life vs digital life” predicament into a game, by letting you go on a digital timeout, that is, stay offline for as long as possible. Engage with your phone, and you’re the ditcher.

How it works: The app adds up real life friends on Facebook and the game starts once everyone has pushed the big red Timeout button. As long as anyone interacts with their Android or iOS device, the game ends. To make it more enticing for people, you can ladder up against your friends to see who can go on a digital timeout the longest.

mAt4sNOZ

Download the BFF Timeout App now and see how long you can go. You might even win a trip for four to Palawan, Singapore, or Japan for spending time offline. Visit www.bfftimeout.com to find out more.

But please, if you need to check that email your boss sent, go.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Press, BFFTimeOut, McDonald's"
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Date: Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 09:32

Small businesses are using the power of PayPal every day for their important transactions and are always under the threat of being attacked by a cyber thief if they are not adequately protected. Here are some top tips to protect your account from being hacked.

Always display the complete email address of the sender
Do not open any emails that do not give complete email address of the sender. Unless you check the source of an email and determine its authenticity, do not download any links as they may be a virus.

Do not share sensitive data on a website if not required
Service providers like PayPal are very particular about the sensitive information of their businesses. They can store all the payment related information and do not have to share it with any website they are transacting with. These precautions are necessary to keep the account safe so that you can focus on your business rather than worry about a security leak.

Get an Antivirus protection
This is the gospel of the cyber world. If you are using the internet for your daily activities, it is imperative that you get an antivirus protection on your machines. Opt for the free antivirus resources which are readily available for download and can be used for a trial period of thirty days before buying the full version.

Activate the firewall settings
You can limit the traffic network by closing the ports that you don’t need. By activating the firewall on your system, you can prevent the hackers from entering your network. It also helps in blocking the websites that are suspicious in nature.

Use smart and tricky passwords
The information of all the businesses must be protected and the passwords will always play a crucial role in doing that. Use a hard to guess combination for your password which is easy to remember but hard to deduce. Also avoid using the same password for more than one application or a site.

Provide Limited access to the sensitive data
The phishing attacks are so common these days that the naïve employees can fall prey to it if they don’t know about these scams. This is why it is important to limit the access of your employees to the sensitive information unless absolutely necessary. When too many people have access to important information, then the probability of being exposed to threat also increases. Always provide the information security training to the employees so that they know how to protect themselves or the company data.

Keep security a priority
Regardless of the size of the company, the top bosses should take personal interest into the safety of the company’s data and provide adequate support to the IT department so that they can bring in the measures of safety.

Back up your important information
The information that is vital to your company must be protected and backed up periodically. You can use the cloud network support or the off-site back up to automatically restore all the data at a scheduled time each day or week. This should be done as frequently as possible so that in case of an unforeseen circumstance, the data can be restored from its last saving point.

Always activate screen lock
If your system is inactive for a certain period of time, your computer screens will automatically lock themselves. This prevents any unauthorized access to the machine.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "General"
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Date: Friday, 06 Jun 2014 06:22

Hey guys! I’m giving away a Genius Energy Mouse. The tech industry is fond of hybrid gadgets. Genius for instance went above and beyond the curve to design a wireless mouse with one additional feature: it doubles as a 2000mAh charger for your smartphone.

The Genius giveaway is part of my Father’s Day #DearDadPH contest. To win this, simply tweet a sweet message to your father using the hashtag #DearDadPH. Contest ongoing till June 15. Check out the link for the full mechanics and prizes.

genius mouse charger 2

The problem with most RFID mice is that they require AAA batteries to operate. Because the Energy Mouse is also a charger, it gets its juice from a micro USB cable, which is a tad more convenient than rummaging for batteries. The back of the mouse has the USB port for your smartphone.

In terms of performance, the mouse itself fits well on a medium sized palm. I’ve been using mice under the Elephant brand for the past 2 years — they’re more meant for gaming. Switching was no problem.

For those wondering, 2000mAh is roughly a full charge for most mid-range smartphones so the Energy Mouse is really meant for emergency purposes. In my use, it is a mouse, first and a charger, second.

genius mouse charger 3

If you’re after something with a much bigger charge, I’m also excited to give away a 8000mAh Powerbank from Genius! That’s right! Be one of the lucky winners in our #DearDadPH contest and you get to keep both the Energy Mouse and the 8000mAh Powerbank for you and your dad! How’s that for a great Father’s Day gift?

genius 800mah 2

The 8000mAh portable charger from Genius can charge two devices (one using USB 2.0) simultaneously. That’s roughly 2 days worth of juice stored in this thing.

genius 8000mah

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Geek, Energy Mouse, Genius"
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Date: Monday, 02 Jun 2014 07:57

Hey kids, want to screw around the Internet? Thanks to Krispy Kreme, I’m giving away 25 boxes of sugar donuts. You see, last month KK had a Mother’s Day promo that let you customize messages to your moms through donuts. For the next two weeks, they’re letting the web go wherever it wants to go with the hashtag #JoyinaBox. Want a box of donuts with letters on them? Pay attention:

Step 1

Like their pages!

https://www.facebook.com/krispykremeph
http://instagram.com/krispykremeph
https://twitter.com/hotlightgirl

Step 2

Share your 20 character message and tag me on Twitter @jayvee with the hashtag #JoyinaBox. Or you can leave your entry on the comment form below. I’ll choose 25 winners who get to have boxes delivered to them through Krispy Kreme PH.

NSFW? Well. Not like I can stop you right?

Only till June 15 guys!

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Press, #joyinabox, krispy kreme"
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Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:01

What is Dark Souls? In sum, it is a microcosm of the human condition. Of why we love to torture ourselves. Of why we are enamored by archetypes of the starving artist or the underpaid worker. And yet we trudge along to the very end of our day and die. No, not sleep. Die — to be reborn again the very next day.

2014-05-16_00002

This is Dark Souls. The achievement text comes out the very first time you die. It is unforgiving. Death is at the very center of the game, and the tutorial mostly just teaches you how to hold your sword. AND DIE!!!!

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.” This is Dark Souls.

The first time I died, I was flattened by what seemed like a cross between an elephant and a gopher.
The second time I died, I fell off a cliff.
The third time I died, I was speared by an arrow to the eye socket.
The fourth time I died, I didn’t realize pigs were deadly.
The fifth time I died, I fell into a well.
The sixth time I died, I fell into the ocean.
The seventh time I died, I was cleaved in half.

dark souls 2

This is Dark Souls. After every death, I learned a little bit more and vowed (to my keyboard and mouse) that things will get better. And they did. Until I died again.

3 little pigs

Dark Souls II is available on PC and Consoles. On PC you can buy it via Steam for USD $49.99.

A special heads up to Sophia Lek for making my life a little bit more frustrating with a copy of the game.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Geek, Dark Souls, From Games, Gaming, Na..."
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Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 03:22

It is May 2014. A quick Google search for “Mensakaba Geishu” and you’ll find a couple of placeholders in online food directories (like TripAdvisor and Looloo), a Facebook page and a couple of geo-located Instagram posts of noodles from an up and coming ramen bar in the south. I heard about the new ramen bar by accident — eavesdropping on a conversation while working at my favorite 3rd wave coffee gallery in the south. There was a new foodie haven in BF Homes — a pseudo hole in the wall with only 12 seats akin to a typical ramen bar in Japan. And it has never been featured on a food blog or a broadsheet, unlike most of the other popular food destinations along the Aguirre strip. So let this be the first.

ramen bar mensakaba geishu

Mensakaba Geishu Ramen Bar
Southland Apartments, Aguirre Avenue
BF Homes Paranaque
Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 11AM to 2PM, 5PM to 10PM
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MensakabaGeishuPH
Landline +632 546 9302

Mensakaba Geishu is run by a very cordial family — Alyn takes the orders and chats everyone up while her husband Hiro is the gastronomic genie behind everything you consume. Alyn used to run an organic soap business till competition got too stiff. Hiro on the other hand was a general manager at a golf club. He spent a lot of time in the kitchen though, developing recipes for the club which, even after his retirement, are still used today. He is not a chef. He’s closer to being a savant.

Hiro always wanted to put up a ramen bar and thus, three months ago, Mensakaba Geishu opened up at the very end of the Aguirre Avenue strip by the Southland Apartments. For those unfamiliar with the place, it’s right across another famous gastronomic southern star — The Girl + The Bull, run by Thea and Gab.

To tell you the truth, I’ve only ordered one thing consistently on the menu — their tantanmen. For PHP 250.00, you are presented with a bowl of firm yellow noodles with just the right amount of kick, veggies and soft ground pork. Unlike most ramen bars that aren’t easy on the stomach because of their oily broth, Mensakaba Geishu’s broth isn’t oily at all and this bodes well for people who need to run to the bathroom for a quick #2 to dispel the oils from their ramen.

So yeah, it’s really the tantanmen. That’s why you come here. Add extra noodles for PHP 20.00. Make it extra spicy (they call it “level 5 spicy”). Add extra tamago. Their recipe for eggs has changed in the 90 or so days that they have been open — from having a custard-like consistency to that of the more traditional seasoned tamago. But whatever you do, your first visit here has to be for their tantanmen. It won’t disappoint.

abura soba mensakaba geishu

There are other fair treats — like their chashu ramen for less than PHP 300 with 5 pieces of pork slices. Then there’s the Abura Soba — an oily and mildly spicy pancit. There’s yakitori and gyoza. But really, I HAVE TO STRESS IT AGAIN: TANTANMEN.

tantanmen mensakaba geishu

Hey, you know what? If you love their food and have the capacity to spread the word, please do. In their words, “wala po kaming oras para mag Facebook o mag marketing.” (they don’t have the time for Facebook or marketing). Facebook isn’t their thing — serving batches of filling ramen is.

Their marketing is actually of the best sort: word of mouth. They’re that honest. And that’s why in less than 90 days, they’ve had nights where the line pulls up outside their 12-seating capacity bar and I’m so happy for them!

tantanmen ramen bar mensakaba geishu

P.S. I pay for my food. Nothing in this review is sponsored.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Digressions, Aguirre, BF Homes, mensakab..."
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Date: Friday, 16 May 2014 14:50

Take a quick look into any store and the shiny, pretty, baubles displayed in counters are something that everyone wants to have. Male and female fashion ranges change every year and popular stars like Kim Kardashian, Emma Stone, etc heartily believe in wearing the most trendy fashions possible in the latest styles. This has given rise to a whole industry that recreates Hollywood or celebrity fashion and bling in affordable price ranges. Fashion stores and online websites now follow stars and trends quite closely and the general public can find hot styles in almost any price range. According to industry watchers, the online fashion market has increased by almost 70 percent in the last decade and there is a huge demand for costume jewelry, designer knock-offs and even trendy handmade fashion accessories. As a result, if you are an upcoming fashion designer or a person interested in starting a fashion line; now is the time to go online and go global.

social media fashion

Setting Up Your Own Fashion Line
As a fashion designer, you know that your designs are unique and beautiful but putting your own fashion line in retail stores can be a continuous struggle. Local retailers may not want to store your clothing and it may take a long time for your items to catch public attention.

The best way to gain popularity and create a niche for yourself is by setting up your own website. Customers buy more than 20 billion garments and more than ¼ of these sales are online. As a result, with the right website, marketing, and hype, you can create a very popular and successful niche for yourself online. Keeping this in mind, here are a few things you should know while planning your own website.
fashion online social media

Determine Your Market – As a fashion designer, you might already be designing for a particular market. However, consider your online market. Thousands of customers browse the online market for clothes and there is a very good chance that you will get customers from all age groups and from all over the world. Instead of limiting your designs to one niche, why not display products that will appeal to a universal market and bring in more customers. Of course, if you want to specialize in a unique market like children’s baptism clothing, then you can do so as there is a demand for this and you will get business.

Study Your Competitor – Before you even set up your website, take a careful look at the other websites online. There will always be two or three websites popular with specific age groups. For example, Anthropologie appeals to women in the 18-30 age groups, while Chanel appeals to everyone. However, these websites have streamlined their websites to appeal to these age groups. In fact, they may also have specific pricing and products to appeal to these age groups. As a result, it’s a good idea to review as many competitor websites as possible, note down important features and ask your website designer to incorporate these features in your website.

Dazzle with Descriptions and Product Photography – Now that you have decided on market and designs, you have to photograph your designs and create beautiful descriptions for your products. You are really the best person to describe your designs. If you aren’t verbose, hire a professional writer to convert your thoughts and opinions into wonderful prose. A professional photographer would also be a great idea as they can create one-of-a-kind photographs and videos for your website.

Hire a Professional – If you want a beautiful website, hire a professional to do the job. Most website developers are just itching to use the best technology on your website and they will hop to it if you give them the nod. Just make sure that the tech does not overtake the clothing and designs.

Use Social Media – Social media is a great way to promote your designs online and to real time people. For example, you can use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to create awareness about your designs, and your website. This kind of pre-publicity and publicity can really make a difference when your website finally goes online.

In the end, it all comes down to hard work and effort. The year 2012 was a year of record online sales in America and the demand has only increased exponentially says Polygon.

In fact, buyers have become bolder and they are more than willing to buy expensive haute couture online. The demand for beautiful high-end fashion is there and buyers are more than willing to try out new designers and innovative accessories. Just make sure that your website displays your designs clearly and promote your website online and in realtime for maximum sales. The rest will happen by itself.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "General, Emma Stone, Kim Kardashian, onl..."
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Date: Friday, 16 May 2014 01:18

Lately I’ve been recommending a Sony device to everyone who has considered taking their gadgets out to get wet. From their waterproof HD video camera that doubles as a projector, their waterproof and wireless headphone system, to my personal favorite — the RX-100 Mk II which has been hailed as the best underwater point and shoot camera in the world for 2014 by Backscatter, there’s no doubt that Sony’s interest in keeping your gadgets safe in the water is paying off.

SonyActionCamHeader

Now, Sony wants you to experience adventure for yourself. Until May 25, they’re giving away a boatload of prizes and all you need to do is open up your Instagram account and post a 15-second video of your epic bucket list destination / activity. They’re giving away the following prizes to the winners:

a. A trip for 2 to their bucket-list destination
b. Two (2) Sony Action Cameras
c. Two (2) Sony Monopods (aka selfie sticks!!!)
d. Sony XPERIA M Android Smartphone

If you want in on the full details, check out their #CaptureAdventure contest page.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "General, #CaptureAdventure, #SonyActionC..."
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Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:00

Hey folks! This is going to be a looooong Father’s Day for geeks. We’ve partnered up with Genius, c/o MSI-ECS to give away a lot of gadgets for you and your dads between May 15 and June 15 2014. All you have to do is show your love for your father (or father figure) through Instagram. Mechanics below.

We have three sets of prizes:

First Prize Set
Genius SP-i320 Portable Speaker + music player
Genius HS-920BT headphones

Second Prize Set
Genius ECO-u821 Portable Charger
Genius HS-M230 in-ear headphones

Third Prize:
Genius Energy Mouse
A portable charger (2700mAh) and mouse at the same time! ZOMG!


Genius Fathers Day Contest

Mechanics and Rules:

1. Upload / Tweet your greeting to your dad (or daddy figure) on Instagram or Twitter. It can be a photo or a video on Instagram or a short message on Twitter.
2. Tag the post with the #DearDadPH hashtag.
3. Please make sure your account is PUBLIC so that Genius can see your entry.
4. Contest will run from May 15 2014 till 11:59PM of June 15 2014
5. Winners will be announced on this blog and at the MSI-ECS Facebook Page on June 18 2014.
6. Prizes can be claimed at the MSI-ECS Office along Libis. Office Address is #3 Economia St. Bagumbayan, Libis Bldg. Please bring a VALID ID.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Geek, Charles Gomez, Genius Philippines,..."
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Date: Monday, 12 May 2014 09:00

LG has been moving up on the popularity curve with its past few iterations of smartphones. The LG G2 (with buttons on the back) is a keen example of how the other South Korean electronics company is making strides. The new L Series III smartphones are Android Kitkat powered, have crisp IPS screens and are all packed with a Dual Core 1.2GHz processor. All are dual-SIM phones which makes this line a huge deal in the budget + performance category. If you’re brand-conscious, LG is definitely reputable.

The L Series III cements itself in the budget category with the L70 at P8,490 and L40 at P4,790. The L80 will be available in the Philippines this May.

L40 Dual SIM D170-1

L70 Dual SIM-1

L80 Dual_B_On A

LG L Series III – Press Release 2

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Press, Dual SIM, LG, series III"
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Date: Tuesday, 06 May 2014 07:33

Need I remind you that it is Mother’s Day this Sunday? Treat your mom (or that special mommy figure in your life) to Outback Steak House. Dine with mom and get the following free:

- P500 gift voucher for your next visit (reservations made before May 8 2014)
- a free photo w/ frame on the 11th when you dine in!
- a free gift from The Body Shop for the first 150 guests on Mother’s Day

Check out the full promo poster after the jump.


outback_PH_steak

Tip: If you want to get your mouths wet really fast, check them out on their newly opened Instagram account at @OutbackPH.

PH-Mother's-Day-WEB copy

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "General, Outback Steak, Philippines"
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Date: Tuesday, 06 May 2014 06:03

If you have a small business, you already know how big a difference the Internet has made. With the Internet, you could set up a website, reach out to customers, connect with vendors, and so on. However, one of the biggest advantages of the Internet is video conferencing. With video conferencing, you are able to double and triple your business with just a few simple tricks. As a small business owner, you are happy to use the Internet to make your small business a success but you want to do more. Can video conferencing help you expand your retail and wholesale network? If yes, then how do you do it and what should you start with?

Accelerating Your Business with Video Networking
One of the major reasons to use video conferencing is to save time and money and you can do this through several different ways says About.

Employee Satisfaction – Flexible employment is something every employee wants and small business owners can afford to provide their employees with this option recommends Polycom. With home video conferencing, employees can log in, do their work, talk to managers or staff, and be as productive as possible while still having a happy family life. This may not seem important but happy employees are productive employees and if you can give your workers this option through video conferencing, you should do so.

Increased Productivity – As a small business owner, you do need to connect with vendors and suppliers from all over the world. Traditionally, the only way to do this was by telephone but you can do this easily through video conferencing. State-of-the-art systems like blue jeans video conferencing are ideal as they can be used by anyone anywhere over the world. You can connect with wholesale buyers, retail customers and wholesale vendors located halfway across the world to find materials and send items quickly and efficiently. Decisions are made faster, sales increase and you can literally improve operational efficiency by connecting with workers from anywhere in the world.

videoconferencing

Save Money – Large companies can afford to have outsourced units that provide cheap labor. They can also afford to use the best video conferencing equipment possible. However, even small business owners can now do the same. With cheap but good video conferencing equipment, small business owners can work with small mom-and-pop manufacturing units to make their goods. This can save a huge amount of money during the manufacturing process and still make enough profits for the manufacturing unit and the business owner as well.

Business At Any Time – Video conferencing can be done at any time and this means that business can be done at anytime and anywhere. This leads to improved performance, better results and even a bigger competitive advantage. For example, a small business that can coordinate with wholesalers located in China can prepare for festive seasons well in advance. This not only increases productivity but also ensures that the small business owner is prepared for the festive season sale well in advance. This also ensures that your productivity is better than your competitors businesses and you develop a clear competitive advantage over any other partner business.

Recruiting – If you want to hire people, video conferencing now makes it easy to hire people from anywhere to work from home. All you need is a good internet connection and a fast video conferencing system. You can interview people located anywhere in the world and get the best people for your company at affordable salaries.

Improve Client Relationships – Chatting with clients has always been a priority for business owners but this means traveling and expenses. Now with video conferencing you can chat with customers, vendors and suppliers located anywhere in the world. The entire process takes less than ten minutes and its easy as well.

Decrease Travel Time – One of the major advantages of video conferencing is reduced travel time. As a small business owner, you might have to travel frequently and this is a waste of time and money. With a video and chat option, you can avoid this completely. You can chat with your supplier, talk to the wholesalers, view goods, troubleshoot problems, solve tech and management issues and generally get your productivity back on line with the least amount of travel time.

These are just a few ways by which video networking can help you improve your business rapidly states Avs Unlimited. Over the last few years, improved technology, better features and a faster Internet connections will make it possible for business owners to get a huge amount of business benefits. Of course, this does mean you will have to invest in a state-of-the-art video conferencing system to get maximum benefits. With the right choice, you can rest assured that you can use video conferencing to improve your business in several fields.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "General"
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 06:50

If I were to summarize the Anilao experience into one dive site, it would have to be an area called Batok, a rich reef located right behind Sombrero Island. Huge barrel sponges seascapes with the divine hand, flat table corals lined with hovering juveniles and fry and fan corals that pipe the currents like wind.

Enjoy!


The Coral Garden: Tables and Barrels from jayvee Fernandez on Vimeo.

Link to The Coral Garden Video (Vimeo)

Video and stills shot using a Sony RX-100 Mark II
Music: Celeste by Les Enfantes
Dive buddies: Bobbit Suntay, Jan and Jules Acosta, Chie Fernandez and Hub Uy

coral_garden (Custom)

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Underwater, anilao, batok, Bobbit Suntay..."
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Date: Monday, 14 Apr 2014 10:08

From April 11 to May 11, new SMART Infinity subscribers can avail of the new Samsung Galaxy S5 for free starting at ASPIRE PLAN 3500. As you go higher however, SMART sweetens the deal! At Prestige PLAN 5000, you get the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 together with the Galaxy S5 + 5k worth of gift certificates. Now, on PREMIUM PLAN 8000, you get the Galaxy Gear 2, Galaxy S5 with a 32″ Samsung TV OR 15k worth of gift certificates.

samsung galaxy s5 download booster
For those wondering if the new Galaxy S5 is worth it, I would highly recommend it even if you are currently using the previous S4 model or even a Galaxy Note 3. There are two reasons: (1) the new S5 comes with a download booster mode which enables both WiFi and data when downloading or surfing. What this means is that you can use the combined speeds of LTE and your home or office WiFi to download files. What a feature! (2) If you’re low on battery, the S5 can switch to a low power mode by turning your screen black and white and disabling all features that are battery heavy. You’ll be able to text and call.

For more details, check out

http://www1.smart.com.ph/infinity/s5

Infinity S5 650x650

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Press, galaxy gear 2, samsung galaxy s5,..."
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Date: Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 03:00

Surprise! I’ve been using Spotify Premium since February!

Before April 8, going to the Spotify website would give you a “Spotify is not available in your country” message (unless you’re using a proxy of course). Well, not anymore! Spotify officially launches in the Philippines today, at 11:00 AM with Premium Access for PHP 129.00 a month payable via credit card or PayPal. The soft launch done by Coca Cola Philippines gives you access to the desktop versions of Spotify. Today, you can now download the Spotify app from the local iTunes store and the Google Play Store.

Links:

Spotify for Android

Spotify for iOS

spotify_windows_premium

In terms of song library, so far I’ve been able to find every single International track save for the ‘Happy / Get Lucky’ mashup of Pomplamoose that’s actually fairly new. In terms of local tracks, it is still very limited. Well, they have Chicser. LOL! But seriously, I have a rather eclectic taste in music from 70′s folk to Prodigy, from Motown to Electro Swing. My favorite playlist I’ve shared thus far is titled “Tegan + Sara + Wilson + Phillips.” Because the latter is the former’s reincarnation. For parents, Spotify is a boon. I can build a comprehensive playlist of kiddie songs with ease.

chicser_spotify

spotify_chaingang

With Premium Access, Spotify allows you to choose from 3 stream qualities:

Normal 96kbit/s
High 160kbit/s
Extreme 320 kbit/s

Unless you’re an audiophile playing on a really good set of speakers, normal will do. The file sizes are also much smaller and easier to stream with local telcos. Speaking of syncing, you are able to synchronize songs via 3G and save them for offline play.

spotify_stations

Because Spotify is finally legit on mobile, it goes hand-in-hand with Shazam — you know, that app you use to listen to music you hear while shopping at Old Navy or Uniqlo — helping you identify every single hipster song on the planet. Launch Shazam, tap on ‘Listen’ and once the song gets identified, open it directly on Spotify and save it permanently to your “Department Store Music” playlist.

In the two screenshots below, I ran Shazam and listened to whatever was playing on the radio and after it identified the song, there was a link to run Spotify so you can save the song into your playlist.

spotify_shazam

spotify_shazam_2

OK so what does Premium Access get you? For P129 a month you get to save songs for offline listening, you don’t hear ads and you can search for any song. The free accounts are ad supported, does not support offline listening (Spotify will stop buffering when you lose your data connection). In the US, Spotify costs USD $9.99 a month. Here it is about USD $3.00 only. Not bad.

spotify differences

Last. Did I mention that Spotify is time-sensitive? On Fridays, it compiles TGIF playlists. On Sundays, it winds you down for work the following day. It gets you up for your morning jog and gives you ambient music for your yoga.

spotify_time_sensitive

To recap:

· To sign-up for Spotify, just go to www.spotify.com

· Monthly Spotify Premium subscription fee is PHP129 a month via credit card / PayPal on their website

· Official FB Page: www.fb.com/SpotifyPhilippines

· Official Twitter Account: @Spotify_PH

This is what the checkout looks like for premium access:

apotifywebsite

My wishlist:

· That it wasn’t so dependent on Facebook for personalization

· More extensive local albums

· An easier way to add friends who are NOT on Facebook. ProTip: Type spotify:user:username where the username is your friend’s username to add them up. Do this on the search bar of your app.

Disclaimer: Spotify Regional gave me a free Premium Access Pass to feature the local launch. Opinions are mine. I am not affiliated with Spotify nor their local partners.

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Geek, cost, how much, Philippines, Premi..."
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 03:25

A good camera bag is like the best pair of jeans you can own: comfy, rustic and beat up. You know you’re in love with photography when your camera bag has absorbed the dust and flavors of the sojourn, much like how a cast-iron skillet cooks with the spices of the last hundred meals.

That being said, the Cobram Outpost is part of my lifestyle regimen to make the logistics of underwater photography more bearable. This 2014, I’ve been shooting exclusively with Sony’s RX-100 Mk II and I still can’t stop hankering as to how I’m enjoying myself a lot more with the upgrade in technology and the downgrade in size. Lugging around more than 5 lbs of equipment that was not SCUBA gear can be a huge impediment so the move to a compact camera was a welcome one.

crumpler hero kashgar outpost (Custom)

Available in two sizes, both iterations of the Cobram Outpost have the same form factor with multiple hard foam compartments for your camera body and lenses. Since I don’t carry a micro 4/3, I keep my compact camera inside its Nauticam body with my wide and +10 I-DAS wet lenses pocketed in the other compartments. The large version actually fits my camera tray with the cover flap hugging it. For non-divers, this feature is actually intentional, allowing you to fit your tripod on top of your camera gear.

kashgar outpost content (Custom)

kashgar outpost cover (Custom)

kashgar outpost macbook air (Custom)

kashgar outpost UW photography strobes YS110a (Custom)

Traveling with stobes, each of my YS-110a’s occupy its own lens compartment leaving me with **some** space for the wet lenses. In fact, without storing a MacBook Air, I can store the following inside:

- RX-100 Housing (w/ camera inside) in center compartment
- two YS-110a strobes in both lens compartments
- wide angle wet lens adapter on top of the RX-100 housing
- +10 macro diopter in side pocket
- camera tray where the tripod is usually located, strapped in using the laptop velcro
- dive arms inside the laptop compartment
- miscellaneous tools such as o-ring grease and bolts in other side pocket

It’s portable, easy to access with the cover-zipper and the velcro covers provide convenient protection between your gear and whatever else you store inside. There’s also a tight front pocket for keeping anything thin from filters, adapters to an iPad.

The Cobram Outpost from Crumpler goes for P6,950 and is probably the last camera bag you will fall in love with, whether you’re shooting above or below water. This one is for keeps.

crumpler kashgar outpost logo (Custom)

Author: "Jayvee Fernandez" Tags: "Geek, Camera Bag, Cobram Outpost, Crumpl..."
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