Menardconnect.com turned 8 last week!!! Yeah men 🙂

nuvola_cake_5nuvola_apps_3_cookie
image credits:
Wikimedia commons
www.icon-king.com, David Vignoni
wikimedia User:Kju

This is the traditional Blog Happy Anniversary post and here the links to the 1st post and the first full post 🙂

Blogposts like this are great opportunity to give thanks so here are some thank you notes:

First of all, I would like to thank God for all the blessings! Next I would like to thank my family and friends, you guys rock! Last but not the least, my thanks to the readers and supporters of menardconnect.com. I will do my best to make this blog better for all you readers. I love you all!!!

 

SMS Scam: Wrong Pasaload, Please Send It Back To Me

We got this SMS Scam yesterday. And as a public service to the readers of this blog, I am dissecting this sms scam attempt so that we can all avoid falling victim.

The sms scam is a 2-part text. The first message
sms scam

Sender: +63 907 664 9375

808

1/2 06-Nov 07:45: P200 has been transferred from 09076649375. To your mobile account Ref:290304390733

is supposedly a message about a pasa-load (sms load transfer) of PHP200 to your phone number, sent by the 808 number (local telco service number on sms load transfers).

and the second message:
sms scam

Sender: +63 907 664 9375

Sir/Ma’am
nagka mali po ako ng Pasaload sa inyo ko n load ang P200 para sa aking nanay, baka po pwede niyong ibalik ung load, kailangan niyo lang pong gawin ang instruction. 09108432236 (space) 200 send 808, replyan ng Yes ang susunod na mensahe, tx ko nlang po nanay ko n antayin ung load, pasensya n po s abala.

Rough english translation

Sir/Ma’am, I made a mistake in the pasaload/transfer load of PHP200 for my mother, and I sent it to you by mistake. Please be kind enough to return the load to me. Just follow this instruction, and reply yes to succeeding messages. I will message my mother to wait for the load. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wow! The scammer levelled up from their former SMS Scam try. The new scam tries to play with some emotions now: first the “paawa” effect, next it tries to “exploit” Pinoy’s natural concern and consideration for the elderly (the money/load is for my mom, please return it), and they too are very courteous now. The spelling and sentence construction is good too in my opinion (wala na jejemon text, level up na talaga sila). Good try +63 907 664 9375 but you still phail Mister/Miss Scammer 🙂 Why? because I eat spam and scam for breakfast so I know you phail :-p and I wont tell you why. I just hope that you, Mr./Ms. scammer will have your own “karma” soon.

I have engaged my telco company support via twitter early this year, but they said they cannot do anything about this scam and they recommended I report it to the government agency (NTC) instead. (I might post about this some other time).

So my advice to my friends and readers is to ignore the SMS text scam, and DO NOT REPLY. If you have time, please report the incident to NTC too.

Some of my friends who replied and either played along with the scammer, “trolled” the scammer or even “cursed” the scammer to the ends of the earth had a funny convo with the scammer but this seems to be a not so good strategy in my opinion (but at least they got some good laugh that day). Most friends who trolled/cursed the spammer ended up receiving more SMS spam. I think this is because the perpetrators know that their mobile number is active and therefore it can be “recycled” for future sms mal-campaigns.

I am wondering why these SMS scams are always about 200 pesos. Maybe 200 pesos is their lucky amount? Hehe!

Again my advice is that if you receive similar messages/texts, ignore the SMS as it is an SMS scam, and DO NOT REPLY. If you have time report the incident to NTC too.

Do you also receive SMS scams like this? Share your stories by leaving some comments below 🙂

Free Six: Pokemon GO Philippines

***

Update 2016.08.08

Pokemon Go PH is now officially released.

Philippines release was last Saturday, August 6 ,2016. Happy hunting!

***

When the first wave of tweets and FB posts about Pokémon GO went around, I thought it was just hype.

pokemon-go-niantics But this month after the US/ANZ release I know that it’s the real deal. So I was anticipating that in the Philippines gaming scene, it will be a gaming super-hit too. Fast forward to 2nd week of July, my telco tweeted the tweet below and my interest was at its peak

telco-paasa

But after this #paasa tweet and hundreds of other tweets from my Pinoy friends on Pokemon Go PH release, wala pa rin. Still waiting after 10 days and as of writing nada/nil/zero 🙁

So I decided that I need to update Menardconnect.com and I will share my free six info Pokemon GO Philippines in the tradition of my free six video and other free six series.

1. Pokemon Go official updates is available at Niantic Labs Official Pokemon website. Official updates on releases are published in the link below

http://pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/en/post/

last 3 releases in HK, Canada and other 26 countries.

pokemon-go-niantics-updates

2. Check Official Apple Store and Official Google Android Store. For iOS, go to

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pokemon-go/id1094591345?mt=8

and click open in iTunes.
Chances are it’s available in US and other Apple Stores and you need to change your store.

unavailable-PH-Store

3. If still not available in Philippines do NOT force installation via changing store. Some of my friends have tried this trick and confirmed that developers have disabled some GPS/geo ip settings, so you won’t find any Pokémon in Philippines GPS locations.

4. Thinking about Pokemon Go Cheats and Tricks? Think again!!! The devs have learned much from their previous Geo-loc game Ingress and I am sure they will be on top of the cheats/”gaming the game” issue. So I suggest you don’t try OK?

5. For Android enthusiasts and iOS jail breakers, don’t risk with those Pokemon Go APK and ios app packages and be part of statistics. But if you can reverse engineer the file and know its detailed behavior then go ahead be my guest (and eat malware for breakfast too) 😀

6. An interesting site for the Pokemon Go Server Status that I recommend

http://www.mmoserverstatus.com/pokemon_go

So that completes my free six info for Pokemon GO Philippines. Will try to post soon when its finally officially released in the Philippines. Hope you enjoyed my Pokemon GO Philippines post here at menardconnect.com

Update 2016.08.08

Pokemon Go PH is now officially released.

Philippines release was last Saturday, August 6 ,2016. Happy hunting!

I need you, I need you, I need you right now
Yeah, I need you right now
So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down
I think I’m losing my mind now

Don’t Let Me Down, Chainsmokers & Daya

We came prepared (yup we heeded Illidan’s warning). We donned our WoW gear and we’re off to the moviehouse on the first weekend of PH screening. If you are curious about our iLvl 6xx gears, here is a sample pic 🙂

That's me in Only Noobs Play Alliance Chestguard, wifey in Only Noobs Play Horde Robe

That’s me in Only Noobs Play Alliance Chestguard, wifey in Only Noobs Play Horde Robe. Thanks Jinx.com!

Yeahhh men! We are WoW fanatics so we were really excited about the movie!

The Good
The movie, content, graphics, and all was great. I can rave and rave about the movie on this blog but the post might be terribly long. So in the tradition of my free six series let me highlight some six rave points about the movie Warcraft: The Beginning

  • The details of the orc structures (the orc upgraded buildings in the eagles eye view scene is so neat)
  • Boomsticks!!! (Cool invention from our Ironforge friends)
  • Fight gryphons fight! (see how Lothar’s gryphon fend off orcs)
  • Wolves are fiercely cool and I want one (Remember: “You’re annoying my dog“)
  • Humans and their meetings with other races (Fun! most of the time nothing is accomplished hehehe)
  • The free stuff courtesy of warcraft.com/movie

The Bad
I understand that the film is set in an alternate timeline. But I will post three main personal rants about the movie:

  • Mak’gora concept was screwed (In Durotan vs Gul’dan, fel magic was used. Maybe I’m old fashioned and into the official lore too much but this Mak’gora is tainted imho. But hey maybe its only me)
  • The Garona love affair angle (Sorry I really don’t like the Miss Halforcen character in-game and so this will definitely affect how I felt about her in the film)
  • Khadgar did not age at all. Duh! (Seriously, for all the powers of Medivh and Sargeras unleashed upon him, it did do much impact on Young Trust’s appearance)

The Ugly
Not necessarily the movie’s fault. But the 3D cinema we were watching was so so. FYI, Blizzard partnered with one of the major malls in the Philippines and if you watch it in 3D you get some freebies in-game.

warcraft-sm-edit

But the “good” PH partner put Warcraft: The Beginning in fewer cinemas, and some cases like ours in older ones that resulted to the not so good experience. Honestly I would be happy if they put Warcraft movie in the cinemas in The Block in North Edsa but no they screened it in the older cinemas. Boo!

But enough of the ugly part. The important thing is that Warcraft the Beginning is now a reality now after some xx numbers of planning, shooting and CGI-ing.

Watch the trailer below courtesy of Blizzard and Legendary Pictures

Overall, great movie. I highly recommend the movie to all Warcraft fans and non-fans out there especially to all my readers who have played any Warcraft game in their life! Just like the Chainsmoker feat. Daya song, this movie is full of anticipation and I’m happy it did not let us down!!!

Why I Avoid Discussing Philippine Election Related Topics

Backstory:
I discussed the 3 reasons below to some twitter friends, when they asked for my comment on the automated election system. I jokingly said that I have a personally-imposed “gag order” on the specific issue 🙂 but sent them some personal notes explaining my reason.

As the 2016 election day draws near, I reflected back and I decided that I am sharing the reasons here in Menardconnect.com

I have been avoiding discussions related to Philippine Election in public for several months already. These public activities includes blog posts, tweets, and Facebook timeline shares and the likes. Maybe I am comfortable discussing these with close friends and family members only? Let me tell you why…

Reason 1: I’m a technical guy. Most of the time I need to verify related “tech details” before I confidently say “this is bad” or “this is good”. Checking these “tech data” requires resource (time) and we all know this this is very limited nowadays 🙁 .

Reason 2: In my line of work, there is this mindset/”school of thought” that is “everything is breakable(e.g. hackable, compromisable, watchamacallit-able etc). Given this mindset it will be a matter of resource between attacker versus the target; how much resource the attacker is willing to spend as opposed to how much resource the target have at their disposal to take the “hit” (e.g. avoid/mitigate/etc). Is this mindset good for public consumption?

Reason 3: Public posting on this PH Election-related topics may be viewed as a bias/partisan politicking.
I understand the challenges of the publicly sharing/commenting/tweeting. Especially if its controversial there will be this thing called “feedback”. “Been there, done that”.
And most of the time, I find handling those “feedback” too emotionally-draining for me 🙁

to be continued…

B Drivers of Manila: Toyota Innova In Trinoma

Second post for the B Drivers of Manila series will be this Toyota Innova in Trinoma Parking Lot entrance.

This Toyota Innova (plate number AAP 5166) teaches us how to “cut” and enter the parking lot “courteously”. I am just happy I acted cool that day or else… hehehe. The Trinoma parking guard noticed that I was just smiling (ngiting aso hahaha) and was shaking my head in amazement, so the guard sheepishly smiled back and told me “Ser, pag pasensyahan nyo na lang, baka nagmamadali“.

Video taken by yours truly using Transcend DP220 (worth a gadget review post here at menardconnect.com soon) last February 25, 2016 at Trinoma Mall Parking entrance (North Parking if i remember it correctly), Quezon City.

Drive safely! Ingat lang tayo lahat palagi! Always be safe ok?

Hope you like my B Drivers of Manila post. 🙂

 

B Drivers of Manila: G Liner

I recently bought a dash-cam and I’m playing with it whenever I have free time. With the dash cam I am also trying to learn a new skill this year (video editing hihihi 🙂 ) because I think its cool to learn a new skill that is different from my usual field of expertise. Mashing the dash-cam and video editing learning experience, an idea came to my mind: Why not do a blogging experiment? I will be posting some videos in social media and do accompanying blog post about the vids here in Menardconnect.com. Sounds interesting lah? Let’s get started…

First post for the B Drivers of Manila series will be G-Liner Bus in Manila. On why the series will be called “B Drivers of Manila” I will explain in a future post. But for now here is the video for G-Liner Bus (plate number ASA 4292) in Manila (and how they seem to lord over the streets of city of Manila every day).

Via YouTube

Via Facebook

G Liner Rules… the streets of Manila- March 1, 2016 B. Drivers of Manila: G Liner Bus in Manila

Posted by Menardconnect.com on Thursday, March 10, 2016

Open Letter To Newsgra.ph Team

Hi Newsgra.ph Team,

First of all thank you for the link you have given my Manila Bankers SMS Spam  2013 post from your “Warning Manila Bankers Will Call You for Sensitive Data” article. It’s good to know that we have some common topics and advocacies for our websites.

I will go direct to the point. I am writing this open letter to let you know that upon reading your “Warning Manila Bankers Will Call You for Sensitive Data”

http://www.newsgra.ph/1725/warning-manila-bankers-will-call-you-for-sensitive-data/

Posted last February 17, 2016, I recognized one of the picture you used. It looks like my phone screengrab image that I captured and used in my 2013 post.
manila-bankers-sms-spam

My Image from a 2013 post

xManila-Bankers-SMS-Spam-Scam

Image from Newsgra.ph website. Take note the of NewsGra.ph watermark in the upper right part

So I would like to ask you some questions:

  • Is it the same picture as the one I have in my 2013 post?
  • If yes, how come it now has Newsgra.ph watermark?

I tried to reach out via twitter

But I got no reply, so I decided to try my luck here and write you this letter.

I’m not “madamot“. I’m not selfish. I’m really a nice guy (well… most of the time). I’m also one tweet or one email away if you want to use my image for your website. We are both Filipino blogger and as much as I can I support fellow Pinoys here in the blogosphere.

Actually if the image you posted got no watermark I will be cool.

Kung walang watermark yan image sa website mo wala tayong pag-uusapan. Mabait ako, madali ako kausap. Ni-link mo naman yung post ko sa blog post so OK lang ako e.

But watermarking an image that does not belong to you is kinda “unethical” don’t you think???

Again, I’m just one tweet or one email away (via my contact page). With that message I’m ending this post.

I made my move.

Your turn now.

 

All the best,

Menard

Update 2016.03.24
I have contacted Newsgra.ph folks via their Facebook page yesterday and raised my concern. They have addressed it and they have apologized for the inconvenience. All is good now!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!

I am wishing you all my friends and readers to have a Prosperous New Year. I know some of you have seen or watched a Dragon Dance or a Lion Dance today but for me I want to welcome the year of the Fire Monkey with a post here at menardconnect.com.

2016ChineseNewYearOfMonkey-LiuyangHunanChina-ByEpicFireworks

For a short background story on Chinese Zodiac animals I am quoting a very popular site.

An ancient folk story tells that Cat and Rat were the worst swimmers in the animal kingdom. Although they were poor swimmers, they were both quite intelligent. To get to the meeting called by the Jade Emperor, they had to cross a river to reach the meeting place. The Jade Emperor had also decreed that the years on the calendar would be named for each animal in the order they arrived to the meeting. Cat and Rat decided that the best and fastest way to cross the river was to hop on the back of Ox. Ox, being naïve and good-natured, agreed to carry them both across. Midway across the river, Rat pushed Cat into the water. Then as Ox neared the other side of the river, Rat jumped ahead and reached the shore first. So he claimed first place in the competition and the zodiac.

Following closely behind was strong Ox who was named the 2nd animal in the zodiac. After Ox, came Tiger, panting, while explaining to the Jade Emperor how difficult it was to cross the river with the heavy currents pushing it downstream all the time. But with its powerful strength, Tiger made to shore and was named the 3rd animal in the cycle.

Suddenly, from a distance came a thumping sound, and the Rabbit arrived. It explained how it crossed the river: by jumping from one stone to another in a nimble fashion. Halfway through, it almost lost the race, but the Rabbit was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that later washed him to shore. For that, it became the 4th animal in the Zodiac cycle. In 5th place was the Flying Dragon. Of course, the Jade Emperor was deeply curious as to why a swift flying creature such as the Dragon should fail to reach first place. The mighty Dragon explained that he had to stop and make rain to help all the people and creatures of the earth, and therefore he was held back. Then, on his way to the finish, he saw a little helpless Rabbit clinging onto a log so he did a good deed and gave a puff of breath to the poor creature so that it could land on the shore. The Jade Emperor was very pleased with the actions of the Dragon, and he was added into the zodiac cycle. As soon as he had done so, a galloping sound was heard, and the Horse appeared. Hidden on the Horse’s hoof was the Snake, whose sudden appearance gave the Horse a fright, thus making it fall back and giving the Snake the 6th spot, while the Horse placed 7th.

Not long after that, a little distance away, the Goat, Monkey, and Rooster came to the shore. These three creatures helped each other to get to where they are. The Rooster spotted a raft, and took the other two animals with it. Together, the Goat and the Monkey cleared the weeds, tugged and pulled and finally got the raft to the shore. Because of their combined efforts, the Emperor was very pleased and promptly named the Goat as the 8th creature, the Monkey as the 9th, and the Rooster the 10th.

The 11th animal was the Dog. Although he was supposed to be the best swimmer, he could not resist the temptation to play a little longer in the river. Though his explanation for being late was because he needed a good bath after a long spell. For that, he almost didn’t make it to the finish line. Just as the Jade Emperor was about to call it a day, an oink and squeal was heard from a little Pig. The Pig got hungry during the race, promptly stopped for a feast and then fell asleep. After the nap, the Pig continued the race and was named the 12th animal of the zodiac cycle. The cat drowned in 13th place and did not make it in the zodiac. It is said that is the reason why cats always chase Rats; to get back at them for what they have done.

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_zodiac#The_Great_Race

Again I wish you all Good Health, Happiness and Prosperity this Year of the Fire Monkey.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Happy Lunar New Year everyone!

Club Balai Isabel, Talisay, Batangas, Philippines

Here is another Post Picture Now Blog Details Later for this new year 🙂

We recently went to Batangas, and had a weekday visit Club Balai Isabel at Talisay, Batangas, Philippines.
I am sharing these six photos as a placeholder for a future blog post about our Club Balai Isabel adventure here at menardconnect.com 🙂