Sunburnt

Those days when you’re up for something random you decided to go swimming somewhere in Alaminos called the Hundred Islands. As of last count, it was still less than 30. Hehe.

20130519-115948.jpg

Advertisements

Accessibility = Disconnectivity

I tell my good friends that whenever they learn that I just wrote a new entry on my blog, it’s usually a bad sign. Bad in the sense that, I’m depressed and I can’t find anyone (any of them friend for that matter) to talk to, that is why I just choose to write. They’re all busy with their own lives I suppose, as I am with mine.

But this time, that’s just partly true. I can’t find anyone to talk to right now but I’m not sad. Neither sad nor happy, just my normal self.

Communication has changed a lot. I remember several years ago, maybe in 2000-2008(?), I get annoyed by friends who send me tons of forwarded messages, quotes, jokes, “chain” texts and all. I thought it was really thoughtless of them. But now, or just a couple of years back, with the advent of mobile internet and social media, my friends rarely send me any form of message at all. Fact is if you browse my cellphone right now, you would see it’s 85% work–related, 14% about my bills notifications and condo sellers. Just 1% are personal messages-usually from family, who ask me to buy things from the supermarket, or relatives who inform me they, or their wives gave birth.

E-mails these days are just mainly for work. I bet no two friends are using their emails right now to communicate with each other. Personal emails are now just for 1) verification of your registration to social networks and apps; 2) additional storage for some of your old digital photos and files (mostly top secret files, yes?); 3) ebooks you bought from an instagram seller for P5.00. Other than those I can’t think of any other use for emails. Maybe to send out resumes. Mark this an X when trying to reach a friend.

Messengers? Who uses messengers? Ahhhhhh… I know . Usually messenger users are not friends. It can be a “court” scene, hehe. Or just young couples flirting with each other.

Internet-based sms are the same as regular sms. If friends won’t spend a single peso to text you, they won’t bother to viber you or imessage you. But I guess they’ll call 😉

Video call. Ah, finally something that’s still used today thanks to Skype and Facetime. Not widely used, but it’s one form of communication that has substance. Sometimes when friends videocall me and my father sees me talking to someone, my father always assumes it’s an overseas call, and I couldn’t convince him otherwise. I love it when I get videocalls. It’s really sweet.

Recently I read about a blog of someone who just deleted his facebook account. I want to do it too if not for older relatives who communicate with me there. I’m seeing a huge shift in our social landscape lately. If I am right, this shift will be more beneficial to us than we think. Evolution has caught up with time. And the way we communicate has evolved so fast that we choose not to communicate at all. At least not to people we are very very close with.

My obvious conclusion: The more accessible social platforms become, the less we become sociable. The more covenient it is to communicate, the less often we do.

The route I have to take: (TRY to) lessen my online social presence, and invest more on physical presence. Who wants pizza? 😉

How to prepare for Doomsday

I want to share this to you because this could be the most substantive piece of writing I could ever draft.

I watch this show on National Geographic called Doomsday Preppers. It’s about individuals, families or groups preparing for a catastrophic event- like solar flare, nuclear warfare, economic meltdown, widespread deadly viral infection, power outage, and the likes- leading to the dreaded doomsday event. These people show how they plan to survive the events, how they store food that will last a long time, to defend their properties and themselves when chaos – expected in the duration of doomsday- strikes.

I find this educational at one point. They teach you how to preserve food in jars, and to extend the life of grains for example, by filling a sack with nitrogen so that oxygen (the culprit for oxidation and decay) will be expelled. Someone showed how powdered charcaol can be placed between layers of face masks to filter the toxic air. Who knew you could also make your own medicine from simple kitchen ingredients.

In another, this is a reality that’s going to happen very soon.

It’s amusing how even in the midst of a doomsday warning, like this year’s Mayan prophecy, most people don’t seem to care. People are either so prepared, or simply brushing this off as just another prophetic failure.

I’m not saying that the Mayan prophecy is true. In fact, I believe in the end times as prophesied in the Bible, not the Mayans. It could be tomorrow, any second now, a year from now, 10, 20, or a thousand years from now. One thing is SURE: it will be VERY SOON. And this message is asking us to prepare EVERY moment of our lives.

Should we then start to pile food in our storage barns? Should we flee to the mountains and occupy the caves? Should we start to arm ourselves with weapons? The answer to these questions is NO. The only way we could ever prepare for all disasters that is to come as signs of the coming of our Lord, is to hold firm to Jesus, grow in His knowledge, and have a faith that cannot be moved.

We have all been warned in advance of what is about to come, for it will. It is inevitable. It must happen. Let’s not put this warning aside, and let us all prepare spiritually by worshipping the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, asking for His mercy and grace every single moment of our lives as the final day come. This is not something to dread. For we will see Jesus face to face and we will be with Him in heaven for all eternity.

What to expect from 4G (LTE) when 3G failed to meet expectations after 7 long years

As much as I’d want to let you know of the technical details of it all, I can only speak in generics.

At the end of this article you should be able to answer the following:

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What’s the difference between 3G and 4G (LTE)?
  2. What happens to 3G devices when the telecom networks upgrade to 4G?
  3. Should we pay the price for the expensive 4G connectivity?
  4. Should we upgrade our devices to 4G/LTE capable ones?

With a little Googling I found out that 4G technically never exists (as of writing). It’s because the standards group (I forgot what they are called, IMT or something) decided that those claiming to be 4G today did not pass their specifications. Regardless, they became lenient on this standard just to differentiate the faster mobile telecommunication system. Under this definition, LTE (Long Term Evolution – yeah what a name) and WiMax2 (not the first wimax generation) fall under the toned-down “4G.”

The difference is that 3G is more inclined to greater voice quality while 4G is keen on delivering faster internet data. 4G offers up to 3 to 10x faster mobile data speed and claims that you’ll experience smoother video streaming even in high-definition (imagine no buffering).

Of course this is not possible without the telecom companies establishing new 4G infrastructures. Billions of pesos (maybe dollars, I have yet to check) have been/are being spent by Smart and Globe for this LTE network alone.

Looking back, 3G has been introduced in the Philippines since 2005. From then until now, those of you who have used broadband sticks for their laptops or browsed the web on their phones (while stationary or mobile) are witnesses on how this technology essentially sucks. Seven years and look at where we are now – areas with dead GSM (let’s call this 1G) signal, barely a good 100 kbps speed while on the road. It’s ugly.

Look, when you buy a 3G phone, or most likely the smartphone you have since 2008, already has built-in 3G antenna that’s capable of speeds from 3mbps to 15 mbps. Did Globe or Smart ever capitalized on that? Did they achieve that speed? NO. I bet your device never even reached 1mbps at most times.

But that’s not actually to be blamed on the telecom companies (both here and abroad). I have read somewhere that the 3G infrastructure posed this limitation no matter how much they upgrade their networks. I know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s what it is.

So as 4G arrives, that limitation is overcome. But not without the high price.

So what happens to your 3G device as both Globe and Smart starts upgrading to 4G? Nothing. Do not fear obsolescence just yet. In fact, 3G is in it for the long term TOO. This is because of the backwards compatibility of the 4G standard. That means if you’re not in an LTE-covered area, but have 3G coverage, your 4G device will switch to 3G (fortunately or unfortunately depends on your circumstance).

Should we pay the price? “We” being the average mid-income consumer, should not. At least not yet. It’s too expensive, and worse, it is capped. Picture this:

The 3G (wimax) plan I used to have offers an unlimited data. That means I can download maybe 30-50 gigabyte (or more) worth of apps, songs, ebooks, movies in a month. But it will also mean my PC is open 24/7 and my torrent client is smartly lined up and organized as downloading will be very very slow. Compare that to 4G (LTE) with a monthly cap of at most 15gigabyte but with 10 times the download speed. You can download 5-6 movies in 3 hours and you’re a goner for the rest of the month. You’ll be stuck to their minimum speed (maybe 200kbps?) until your cap is reset the next month.

That’s a choice between 3 hours of ecstasy or 30 days mediocre connectivity (I like using ‘mediocre’ because depending on how you say it, “joke” can come out of it).

Should we upgrade to 4G/LTE device? This of course is extremely based on your capacity to buy or pay. We all want what’s new out there!! Don’t make me start with the iPhone 5!

Prolonging the Weekend

I knew that that afternoon caffeine fix would double my heartbeat by now and might even prevent me from rendering sleep. I drank it anyway – brewed it myself. As a consequence I am now forcing myself to drink several glasses of water.

Whether or not I drink coffee though (which some scientists say doesn’t really keep you from falling asleep) I have this End-of-the-Weekend syndrome wherein I tend to stay up longer the night before the first workday. It’s what I call making the most of time.

I gobble up the tech news on my Flipboard and even care to read repetitive articles on the same topic. I am addicted to tech news, particularly in gadget news, and whenever something I’ve never read pops out on the daily homepage (i.e. Yahoo), I go back to my aggregated news and wonder “how can I have missed that?” I hate being late with the news even if nothing socially relevant happens to me by being updated. The last thing on earth that could happen is find some girl addicted to the same news as me, and we come together and discover from each other what we already know. Hmmm…women are generally not of the techie kind so chance of that happening is absolutely nil.

I play on the iPad too, like a 7-year old boy who just played Playstation for the first time. I enjoy games on the device as much as I’d love to eat.

If not that, I’m usually just thinking – staring at something even if in the dark until I fall asleep. If I’m lucky, some of the things I thought about prior to sleeping are continued in the dream. It usually makes me a bit optimistic in the morning – until traffic comes in on the way to work.

Whatever it is that I do, as long as I exceed my usual sleeping time, I consider it time well-spent even if what I do is do nothing. The payoff is of course in the morning when I wake up feeling deprived from sleep and being late for work and making excuses to your boss.

I manage to write another entry for my primary reader: Me. This gives me a sense of accomplishment tonight. Time well-spent.

Bananaque and Chivalrarity

I love the sound of typing on a keyboard. But for some reason, if I just pretend to be typing it doesn’t seem to have the same therapeutic effect on me. I’m guessing it’s the pauses – or the lack of the sound of a backspace when deleting a word or the whole sentence. It’s different. I’m weird, and I know that already. But writing this is not about keyboard-sound-therapy (KST if you must). This is about something so rare I happened to witness happening all in one day:

So the other day on the way to work, I came across a guy in business clothes who went off his way to help a little old lady (in her late 60’s I’m guessing) carry a heavy bunch of banana for banana Q’s (also guessing, but it looks like it). I didn’t see the whole thing happen but I just know that this guy asked the old lady where she’s heading, maybe seeing that the bulky bunch of bananas were weighing her down.

This is remarkable for me because, one, everyone knows this is a rare happenstance. Two, this guy doesn’t seem to care if his business clothes get stained from banana sap (not entirely a big deal, but this could potentially sabotage his looks if he happen to have a presentation that day, imagine what banana sap can do. Hehe!) Three, this guy doesn’t seem to care if he’s about to be late for work. I’m certain telling your boss that you helped an old lady carry a bunch of banana is like telling a teacher your dog ate your homework!

All that happening in just about 15 seconds. Remarkable. I smiled to the guy when he saw me then I quickly walked away and never looked back upon realizing how awkward that was. Haha! (Okay just in case you missed it, I smiled to the guy to applaud him.)

I began to think if I could have done the same had I seen that old lady first. I told myself I would have, but quick flashes in my mind about so many opportunities to help others have passed without me doing anything. Helping others must not be selective. Helping is a character not a verb.

I thought that banana guy was enough chivalry for the day. On the way home, while on a bus, one guy gave his seat to an elderly woman. Clap clap clap! I told myself, I’ll blog about this! Chivalry ain’t dead!

After getting off the bus and while walking home, another guy in front of me was eating a sandwich. Unexpectedly, he turned to a corner and I thought the guy was about to take a leak. Instead he pulled out a tiny piece of candy (maybe gum?) wrapper and threw it in a trash bag in front of a house. Clap clap clap! This is a huge score for the gentlemen, yes?

My only question is: Did the banana guy get a free banana Q?

Pork and Love

I lost count. But I feel like I have been “biologically purged” from pork for about two months now.

Unless it was masked as otherwise, I haven’t eaten, not nearly even touched, pork since that day my system refused to take it in. Of the many porkies I love, I would never imagine living without bacon, chicharon, ma ling luncheon meat, and lechong kawali! Now I detest them. I’m not even enticed by the smell of seared bacon anymore. I don’t turn my head when I hear the crackling sound of crunchy chicharon. This happened not by choice. I loved pork. Lechong kawali was my favorite.

I don’t really know (too lazy to google), if there’s a health benefit I can get from this. I don’t feel my body getting lighter. I’m not gaining muscles. The only thing that changed was that now I get embarrassed when friends or colleague serve pork, and I refuse to eat it. I get asked if I changed religion. But most of the time I get teased of being on a diet. No. This is not about religion and diet. Yes, this is something I can’t explain.

I still eat beef. But if my system will start to not take it, I think I can still survive. There’s still chicken. And fish. And paper. And vegetables. (Haha! Yes that’s the order).

I don’t miss pork. But I miss love. (Okay, dear reader, I was waiting for you to vomit so there’s your cue.)

Sometimes I wish that love was like my pork appetite. It just shuts down on its own. But I’m thankful that it’s not. Because I would never have the idea how to bring my appetite back, nor would I’d find a good reason to do so.