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Tech, Games, Blogging and Other Random Thoughts

Month: December 2008

Bowl of Fruits for New Year

Posted on December 31, 2008  in Personal Experiences

I hijacked an internet wireless signal in Laguna (and did some countermeasures so that my online experience will still be safe 🙂 ). As I was surfing the net at the garage-converted sala, this sweet smell of unknown fruit keeps on bugging me so I decided to blog about it.

For New year

For New year

Its a Filipino tradition to have round fruits at the dining table for the New Year‘s Eve salu-salo. The old folks suggests that it should be round (I bet this is related to the superstition of wearing polka dots during new year will bring more good fortune, analogy is round = coins = money) and it should be twelve so that the blessings and good fortune will last the whole year (12 = months in one year).

For this year, we have apple, chesa, chico, grapes, guava-apple
honeydew, kiat kiat, king mandarin, kiwi, longan, makopa, green mango, melon, orange, pakwan, papaya, chinese pear, japanese pear,
pineapple, ponkan and strawberry.

Fruit Bowl

The Regulars
Guava apple, pinya, ponkan, kiat-kiat, green mango are regular items in our household table. Melon and pakwan come more often in the summer months. Makopa is quite unique, its been years since I last tried one (poor city boy me 🙁 )

The Specials
Apples, oranges and grapes come in when we have extra budget for the groceries. Kiwi, strawberry and honeydew are extra-special fruities reserved for special occasions like this one.

The Newbies
Its the first time I heard of the fruit “longan”. Nanay and Raven said its like lanzones/rambutan so I’ll try one later tonight. I also learned that pears have their own nationalities: the usual one I’m familiar is the chinese pear (its common item in the fruit section of the supermarket), its Japanese cousin is a leaner version. King Mandarin is like dalanghita, but bigger and has thicker skin (I think).

The Haters
I wonder why we have papaya (maybe just to complete the 12). I usually don’t like papaya (unless I’m constipated and need to pooh badly). Same feeling for the chesa. But chesa brings back memories of my childhood summers spent in my beloved Quezon Del Sur (this one is worth another blog entry in the future).

The Culprit
…for sweet fruit smell? Hehe I really don’t know. I think its the honeydew, but Raven argues its not the honeydew. I asked my bro and sis to smell the fruit bowl and they cant decide which one among the pakwan, chico or guava. Oh well this post is almost complete so I’ll leave the smell as it is… a sweet fruit.

Counting the fruits its more than the usual twelve kinds, its 21 so I’m expecting not just my 13th and 14th month pay next year, but up to 21st-month 🙂

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

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Month: December 2008

Pangandaman Golf Brawl

Posted on December 30, 2008

Today is Rizal Day. I should be writing about heroes and their commendable acts and how we should exemplify them. But here I am writing about Nasser Pangandaman Jr.  mayor of Masiu town in Lanao del Sur province, Philippines brawling up a 56-year old man and his son over some misunderstanding on a golf course last Friday. Heroic right?

Pangandaman Jr. is the son of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Datu Nasser Pangandaman Sr. The younger Pagandaman, together with his henchmen allegedly beat up Delfin de la Paz and his son Bino after some golf etiquette/rules argument turned into a bloody incident at the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City. (Btw some of the mayor’s minions are armed with handguns hence they are perceived to be bodyguards). There is a pending case filed at Antipolo Police women and children’s desk related to this incident.

The DAR Chief and his mayor son have their own version: It was the older De la Paz who first hit them with an umbrella. WTF!!! Somebody hits you with an umbrella and your gun-toting minions swarms on them and beat them up?

I do not know what will happen to this case. I just hope and pray that De la Paz and his son recover soon, and that their family will be safe from harm.

To the DAR Chief, his mayor son and his companions, other netizens  have already tagged you with so many adjectives (and some recommended course of action too) and I will not add to the list. Just one word for you and your cronies: Karma.

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Month: December 2008

My Christmas Experience

Posted on December 27, 2008  in Personal Experiences

Its kinda late to say Merry Christmas so I’ll greet advance Happy New Year to all!!!

Its been a long time since my last post. I went to Quezon province (Quezon Del Sur to be exact :-p ) to spend my Christmas with my family. I’d like to share my Christmas experience… the Mastercard way:

***

Crisp bills and coins for the Christmas giveaways …………………… PHP 8500

Tire Change (x2) in preparation of a long drive ………………………. PHP 4200

Change Oil and Tune up ……………………………………………………………… PHP 2200

Last minute replacement for Auxillary Fan…………………………………. PHP 1600

The excitement and smiles of my nephews and nieces during our Family Christmas Party………………………….. PRICELESS

The thank you’s from kids, manangs and lolas after our Christmas gift-giving ……………………………………….. PRICELESS

***
I’ll post some pics later.

Updates:
I’m glad that my father “reimbursed” a large percentage of the money that I used to change the new/crisp bills 🙂

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Month: December 2008

Obama and GMA in Manila

Posted on December 21, 2008

I always thought that Barack Obama is distancing himself with GMA, but I guess I was wrong. The video report below tells us that President-Elect Barack Obama sneaked into Malacañang, Manila over the weekend to have coffee with Madam Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Credits to sunfish0703 for the video.

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Month: December 2008

In-the-Cloud Technology Beats Malware Pollution

Posted on December 19, 2008  in Technology

I finally got permission from Computerworld Philippines to post here the article that we submitted for their Viewpoints column. I am already tinkering with the WordPress post/edit stuffs, but upon checking their site today, they already posted it on their online portal 🙂 I’m posting some snippets of the article below:

Computerworld Philippines

Web Security Lifeline: In-the-Cloud Technology Beats Malware Pollution

By Menard Oseña

Published in the November 2008 print edition of Computerworld Philippines

December 18, 2008

The State of Threats

Often, to impress upon the public the kind of dangers lurking online, security vendors struggle to pin a number on the volume of new malicious codes that are being produced everyday. AV-Test.org, an independent antivirus tester, placed it at 650,000 unique samples a month, an incredible jump from roughly 50,000 a month in 2005. We are seeing the same thing along with other AV (antivirus) vendors, although the number may differ among companies. The bottom line is that the numbers are indeed growing at an alarming rate.

Alongside the volume problem is the nature of these threats. Malicious codes these days no longer announce their presence on computers. The days of global outbreaks like the ILoveYou virus are over. They now operate stealthily, sitting unknowingly in computers to perform cybercrime. They can siphon personal and sensitive information from computers. They can hijack PC computing power for large-scale online attacks that can take down sites for hours. These threats are collectively known as Web threats and they are characterized by the smaller and targeted nature of their attacks, with money often the sole motivator.

AV Vendors Fight Back

In pattern matching, AV vendors use different sourcing strategies to obtain the file plaguing customers. We look for the marker or the unique thumbprint of the file and program a malware definition that can detect it, an activity we can now automate with the use of technology, making it an effective way of battling malware. But doing this for every single sample that we obtain will eventually consume too much computing power, making the user experience suffer as a result.

Quite different from pattern matching, heuristics involves the collection of a vast number of malware samples. Engineers create rules based on an analysis of common malware behavior and characteristics. Heuristic patterns detect not only all existing variants similar to the malicious code that was analyzed, but also future variants. This technique, however, although generally considered to be less resource-intensive, requires a safety net to be in place as it is more prone to false detection.

In-the-Cloud* is the Way to Go

Looking at the big picture, however, these strategies ultimately fall short. Detecting threats at the gateway and at the endpoint, after all, requires that a threat already be present on the system. In an ideal world, threats are detected and blocked at the source. Instead of the messy file-based battle, AV vendors must figure out a way to deliver protection at all possible fronts.

In today’s attacks, the infection chain begins long before a file is downloaded. Malware writers, for instance, can entice users via social engineering to click on a malicious URL. This can happen via spam or an instant message or even as part of the search results of a legitimate search engine. The URL can lead to several redirections which in the end causes the PC to download a malicious file. This means there are actually several chances to cut off the infection chain before a file ever gets to perform its payload. In addition to detecting files, this new level of protection must filter out fraudulent mail and block malicious URLs, bringing users farther away from the risks of these sneaky Web threats.

Going in the cloud for Trend Micro means “setting up camp” on the Internet and installing lighter-weight clients on user PCs to block threats before they ever reach the corporate network. This move likewise presents several pluses. By hooking up to a Web-based protection network, each client becomes a part of a real-time global protection schema. When the network detects an Internet security threat on behalf of any one participant in the network, all participants are automatically and immediately protected. They act as “sensors” looking out for the rest of the subscribers. This protection also extends to all devices connected to the network. By affording this protection proactively, the network significantly lessens the need to download new pattern files, reload databases, or even perform that customary system scan. In this case, file size and memory consumption are no longer an issue. Needless to say, time to protect is shorter, and we may at last have the chance to beat malware writers at their own game.

Complete article can be found HERE
Update 06.07.2009
Since Computerworld link is broken now, I am posting the whole article above.

The Computerworld Philippines November 2008 Cover

Computerworld Philippines November 2008

My personal thanks goes to Macky and Jercyl of TrendLabs Tech Marketing team for their help on the “prettification” of the article and to Deb of MediaG8way for the CWP Logo and the permission to post here in my blog.

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Month: December 2008

Mybloglog widget

Posted on December 19, 2008  in Blog Experiences

Hi Friends!!! I added mybloglog widget to my site. If you’re mybloglog enabled, kindly add my site. Thanks!!!

Update:

To those new in the blogging scene (like me), let me tell more insights on this mybloglog stuff. This widget is the one on the rightmost sidebar. Its title is Recent visitors and you need to log in your MyBloglog account (a yahoo website service) so that when you visit my site, you will be automatically logged and your name will be displayed in the site.

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Month: December 2008

Menardconnect.com upgrade to WordPress 2.7

Posted on December 16, 2008  in Blog Experiences

Its been less than a month since this site was initially setup and now I need to upgrade to WordPress 2.7???
Honestly that was my initial reaction. But upon reading wordpress.org posts on the 2.7 upgrade instructions, visiting top blog posts on the topic and knowing the importance of patching systems in a timely manner, I decided to give it a try.
The learning process was fun!!! Creating a backup for your WordPress files and DB, testing the backup, using tools provided in cpanel, following instructions, finalizing setup, checking that your site is really running 2.7 already, reactivating plugins, and finally doing the first post using 2.7… officially.

The admin console look and feel is refreshing 🙂 I will try the new features in the coming days. Thanks WordPress!

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Month: December 2008

Old Spaghetti House Review

Posted on December 15, 2008  in Reviews

As I mentioned in the About page, I will try to post some food/resto reviews so here it goes.

I accompanied Maui in her window shopping spree last weekend :-). Before we do the actual “gruelling” task of shopping, I need to make sure I have enough energy. That means FOOD. We want to have Razon’s Halu-halo since its one of our favorite in Robinson’s Galleria foodcourt, but decided that we will have it later after the shopping. We decided to try Old Spaghetti House (I’ve never been inside this restaurant although I remember they have one branch in Libis). I ordered Gambasetti, she ordered the pasta meal with a long filename. It was Golden Crusted Chicken Ham and Cheese with Angel Hair Pomodoro (told you it was long). I liked the Gambasetti 🙂 As the name implies its a mix of Gambas (shrimps) and spaghetti. It’s a little bit spicy for me but combined with the pasta meal, we really enjoyed our treat :-). The price is also OK, not to pricey for a pasta resto. We’ll definitely try other dishes there some other time.

Until next chowtime :@)!

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Month: December 2008

NO votes win over in Quezon

Posted on December 15, 2008

The NO votes overwhelmed the YES votes in the Quezon plebiscite last Saturday. Inquirer.net report states that around 70% percent of the votes casts are NO’s, while only 30% are in favor of split-up of the province into Quezon Del Norte and Quezon Del Sur. The report also said that that only a third of all registered voters in the province joined the electoral process. The leaders of NO proponents have called on their supporters to respect the results of the plebiscite.

Its really a long day for me today. The people have spoken and I will respect the decision made via this democratic process.

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Month: December 2008

Plebiscite Day for Quezon

Posted on December 13, 2008

Today is the day to cast the YES or NO vote to the Quezon Del Sur and Quezon Del Norte initiative. I heard  radio reports that the precints in the province opened at 7am.  It is speculated that there will be a low turnout of voters this time because of the lack of information campaign related this plebiscite. It is also expected that the results will be known later today (or early Sunday), although because of the TRO issued by the SC, these results will not be proclaimed by Comelec . The Philippine National Police in the province is placed on heightened alert as a proactive move to prevent possible violence related to the plebiscite.

I will update this blog as soon as I significant updates on this topic. Previous post related this topic here.

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