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Tech, Games, Blogging and Other Random Thoughts

Month: January 2009

Menardconnect Supports WordPress “Thank a Plugin Developer” Day

Posted on January 29, 2009  in Blog Experiences

As suggested by Matt in his Thank a Plugin Developer Day post in WordPress.org, I took some time off the usual tasks and went to WP plugin and theme developers site and contact page and sent some thank you notes. I have not thanked all yet so I hope it can be a week for thank you’s and not just a day. Sorry guys, its just thank you notes for now, no money for paypal yet.

Again, my warmest thanks to all the developers of plugins and themes and all those stuffs in WP. This is really a great community and I am glad to be part of it.

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Month: January 2009

Mcdonald’s sponsors Eraserheads Reunion Concert in March 2009?

Posted on January 29, 2009  in Blog Experiences

I don’t watch TV that often, but when I do and I like the commercial, it really sticks into my head. And this one is my LCS (last commercial syndrome): Mcdonald’s “First Love” Featuring Eheads Ang Huling El Bimbo:

My housemates say that this was on the TV some weeks ago,
which makes me think that the timing coincides with the announcement of Eraserheads Reunion Concert Part 2 The Final Set.

So is Mcdonald’s one of the major sponsors of the Reunion Concert Part 2? Ok maybe a minor sponsor? Or maybe they will own exclusive rights of selling burgers in the SM Mall of Asia grounds concert venue on March 7, 2009 🙂 . I remember seeing Mcdo crew members selling burgers at the Fort venue during the 1st concert. So this is just my wild guess okay??? If you know some insider details on this deal, put some comments here or send me a note via my contact page. 🙂

Credits to canonberg for posting this in youtube.

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Month: January 2009

Passport Renewal and Application

Posted on January 28, 2009  in Personal Experiences

I’m happy that the passport renewal and application system in the Philippines is an efficient one 🙂

I renewed my passport early this month and the process was smooth:

1.  I called their hotline +632 737 1000

  • A customer service agent assisted me on the steps. The agent told me the requirements that I need to prepare. If you want you can fill up the form via internet or do the question and answer portion during the call
  • I chose to give the details over the phone. Details provided are those found in the application form (Name, Address and other usual stuffs)
  • The agent repeated the details and asked for confirmation. We also scheduled 2 dates:
  • Date for the courier to pickup the requirements (can be the day after the call or it can fit to your availability)
  • Date for the personal appearance in Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City. Again this date can be scheduled to fit your availability).

2. During the requirement pickup date, a courier from 2GO arrived and picked up the requirements. He asked me to check the correctness of the application form, affix my thumb mark on the papers and get the payment (1,300 pesos).

3. During the personal appearance day in DFA, an agent from Teleserv assisted me from the main gate and led me to the designated waiting area. No need to bother the fixers and shouters along Libertad Street 🙂 . Another agent asked me to take a seat and wait. I waited for around 1~2 minutes in the waiting area then another agent called my name and assisted me affix my signature and thumb mark to the forms. Total stay time in the DFA compound is 5 minutes.

4. The new passport and the old passport arrived in the office 8 days later. A courier from 2GO delivered it and the guard on duty from our office handed out my authorization letter and receipt.

Total days spent: from the telephone call to passport delivery: 12 working days. Hassle free. I’m very satisfied with their service so I’m blogging about it here 🙂

For more details visit their site here.

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Month: January 2009

Tabo Scandal: Filipino Worker in Australia “fired” over Toilet Habits

Posted on January 27, 2009  in Blog Experiences

A Filipino worker in Australia was allegedly fired because of his “tabo habits”. When I say “tabo habits” it’s the usual Filipino way of using the tabo (or dipper in english) filled with water to clean up the mess after doing the deed in the toilet. The Australian employers argued that it was unhygienic (and un-Australian too 🙂 ), but the Pinoy worker defended that its not unhygienic and it is part of his culture.

Townsville Bulletin reports that Amador Bernabe, a Filipino machine operator at Townsville Engineering Industries (TEI) in Bohle Australia, was fired over his habit of using water instead the usual toilet paper. Quoting Townsville Bulletin report

I went to go to the toilet and I took a bottle of water when my foreman saw me and he said `you can’t bring the water in there’,” Mr Bernabe said.
“I asked why and he said it wasn’t good but I said it’s our way and he followed me into the toilet.
“I said it’s my personal hygiene. I didn’t break any law, I didn’t break any rules of the company, why can’t I do this, and he said he would report me to the manager.
“The next morning when I came in I went to punch my time card and he told me the manager wanted to talk to me in his office.
“He asked me what had happened and I explained to him and he said if I didn’t follow the Australian way I would be immediately terminated and I said `sir, then you better terminate me’.”

This incident was picked up by local media and was a buzz during the weekend. It was condemned by both union workers and officials as well as some local politicians.

Another report from the Townsville Bulletin aired the side of the Australian employer. The TEI manager said that Bernabe was not sacked; that the issue here is recurring unhealthy toilet habits and that he (Bernabe) left his workplace without notice. He also said that this is an ongoing issue (meaning not resolved yet).

I want to be fair in writing this article. But I’m a little bit biased since I’ve personally heard of similar racial discrimination from there Down Under. But one thing I know about us Pinoys (or most of us in general):

  • Whenever we are in another country we try to follow their culture;
  • We respect their culture;
  • We are humble to understand that we are visitors in their country;
  • And we try our best to fit in (out of our “pakikisama” mentality I guess).

Because of these points, I personally believe that Mr. Bernabe is that not that unsanitary in his toilet habits (as his boss claims). And I expect that his employers respect his culture the way we respect their culture.

I  hope this issue will be settled soon…

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Month: January 2009

Friendster Comment Spam

Posted on January 25, 2009  in Personal Experiences

I’ve been itching to write about this Friendster comment spam since the start of the year. Actually the post date of this article is January 7th, 2009 but enough of that. Back to the main story:

Do you have a friendster account?

Does the phrase “My webcam is finally working, and I want you to come see me!” sounds familiar?

Do you recognize the picture below in one of comments your friends sent you? Sorry I need to edit the image since the original one is showing some skin 🙂

friendster-spam-comment-pron

Warning: Do not click it!

I would like to inform you that you (and your friends) have been hit by a comment spam 🙂

I received the same Friendster comments from siblings, cousins and friends during the holidays. I notified them via instant messaging and email that they are sending me comment that seems to be related to virus and/or p0rn. I told them to delete the comment manually (since we both know we do not like pron in our profiles 🙂 ). Most of them replied that they did not send me that comment and they are clueless on why did it happen. I told them that their PC that they use to open Friendster might be infected with this and that virus and then we went with our holiday greetings, catch-up chats and forgot about the spam comment issue.

This weekend as I was browsing my Friendster profile and I noticed that some of my friends still have that same comment spam active in their profiles. It’s been 3 weeks and this spam is still around so I got curious. I did a quick research (using the html files I got before and the new ones I grabbed from their friendster profiles). But my tinkering yields a little info: The image used in the comment is hosted in imageshack and the links point to several sites with URL strings related to “free“, “camera“, “cam“, and “grooving“. The links are then redirected to a social networking site (popular for their video and image sharing). You have to register to the social networking site to view those videos and images. Something is fishy here. This link trail is similar to some  pron scheme sites that I know of. And given the limited info I have now, I will leave this case open and will update this post in the future.

On how to clean up this mess? I suggest the following:

1. Delete the comment spam.

2. Set your Friendster profile with stricter settings. Accept comments from friends only and do not automatically approve comments, do it the manual way.

If you want a step by step instructions, I found this useful How to stop Friendster Spam article.

Last note: Friendster is very popular in the Philippines (and in South East Asia too). It’s very accessible to our young people. Ask your kids, nieces and nephews and I know they will answer that they have friendster account too. Lets keep it clean, safe and free from p0rn.

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Month: January 2009

It’s Apple’s Turn: OSX_KROWI.A

Posted on January 25, 2009  in Technology

My guess (posted in my last month’s Firefox malware post) proved to be true. This week is Apple and Mac‘s turn on the malware spotlight.

Trend Micro and Intego reported seeing a malicious file (read: trojan) packaged inside a cracked version of iWork 09, the productivity suite recently released by Apple. The cracked iWork 09 is being circulated via the popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol Bittorrent. Upon installation of the cracked iWork 09 package, the malicious file (detected by Trend Micro as OSX_KROWI.A) is then automatically executed and can make the Macintosh machine compromised.

Interested to read the full techie details? Check out Trendlabs’ blog and Intego’s advisory.

I suggest that whenever you download any application software via P2P site, try to scan them first with your antivirus, anti-spyware and other security programs and check out for any suspicious files or detection. And remember that even Macs are not that safe nowadays.

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Month: January 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Posted on January 24, 2009  in Personal Experiences

A friend of mine sent out some chinese new year’s greeting yesterday to both his pinoy and chinese friends.  Since the greetings is for prosperity and good luck, I would like to share it in this blog:

Chinese New Year is fast approaching!  Jan 25 – New Year’s Eve and Jan 26 – Chinese New Year!

Here are some tips and things to prepare for the coming new year.  Please prepare it on Jan 25 🙂

  • Please pay all your bills before the new year.  This is to ensure that you won’t have “utang” in the entire year of 2009.
  • Do not spend money on Jan 26 as much as possible.  Prepare a fish dish on Jan 25 evening.
  • For luck and health, you need to prepare the following:  (No substitutes please)  2 pcs of pineapple, 4 pcs of pear, 10 pcs of bananas, 2 packs of gold coin candy, 2 pcs of Chinese Mamon or Huat Ke, 2 boxes of tikoy – glutinous rice cake.  Place them in the dining table on New Year’s Eve and eat some of them on New Year’s Day.
  • For money, you need to gather coins (those 5 cents or 10 cents coin so that you can gather a lot) and walk backwards from your gate while sprinkling the coins.  Sprinkle the coins to each entrance or door of your house. Do this before going out of the house on New Year’s Day.

Good Luck and Happy New Year again!

I hail from a traditional Filipino family and I see some similarities on the two culture’s new year’s traditions. For one, the paying of the bills and not spending on the new year’s day was one also preached and practiced by my parents when we were kids in Quezon. The fruits for the new year I even written a post here in my blog. The traditions varies (from being weird, uncommon to logical, quite OK) and as long as they are for prosperity, good health, peace, harmony and other positive things I’m fine with them.

Special thanks to Junjun for sharing this one.

Happy new year y’all!

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Month: January 2009

Unleaded Gasoline Lowest Price – Part 2

Posted on January 21, 2009  in Personal Experiences

This is a follow-up item to this lowest price of unleaded gasoline post.

Taken from a gasoline station in San Juan, Manila, Philippines yesterday January 20, 2009.

Unleaded_Gas_01202009

Lowest price right? Even if other gasoline stations from the same oil company (Big 3) sell their unleaded gas @ 32.57 pesos per liter, this lone station offers the best bargain price 🙂

No. I don’t own the gas station. I don’t even know the owner; I’m just an ordinary blogger who would like to share with my fellow blogger/drivers out there the good deals that I can find while on the road.
If you’re interested to know where exactly this station is, drop some comments here at the end of the post 🙂

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Month: January 2009

Eraserheads Reunion Concert Part 2 Tickets Available at Ticketworld

Posted on January 21, 2009  in Blog Experiences

Update 02.24.2009
I posted some details on where to buy eraserheads concert 2009 tickets
And there are some news that San Miguel Beer is giving away Free Eraserheads Concert Tickets.

Update 01.23.2009
I finally got hold of my Eraserheads Reunion Concert Part 2 tickets 🙂

One for Raven and one for me :)

One for Raven and one for me 🙂

Sorry my telephone cam resolution is not that good.

01.21.2009

I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it! 🙂

As promised in my earlier Eraserheads Reunion Concert Part 2 The Final Set post, I will be updating my blog when the ticket details are confirmed.

Ticket Prices:

VIP = 5000 Pesos
GOLD = 3000 Pesos
SILVER = 1300 Pesos
BRONZE300 Pesos

Venue will be SM Mall of Asia Grounds. Save the date: March 7, 2009 8PM.

My source? Its not Ely, its not Raimz, its not Marcus, its not Buddy. (I am just an avid fan 🙂 ). Its Ticketworld. If you still don’t believe me go to their site.

I don’t know if I myself can afford the VIP tickets. I’m saving up for 2 tickets (one for me and one for Raven) so most probably we will get the gold one. Don’t worry, I will scan it and post it here at menardconnect as soon as I have it :-p

Again special thanks to Marhgil for the buzz 🙂

What are you waiting for? Punta na sa Tindahan ni Aleng Nena para bumili ng … tickets. 🙂

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Month: January 2009

Barack Obama Live Inauguration Video

Posted on January 20, 2009  in Blog Experiences

Today is Inauguration Day of Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. There are many sites out there offering live video coverage and all those free stuffs. But one last reminder: please be careful, some of these sites may be scam sites or worst… they have redirects to malicious content (read: malware).

TrendLabs reported a noticeable malware activities related to Barack Obama and his inauguration day. The activities started last week and new Downad, Waledac, and Bancos malware variants were found to be riding on the Obama inauguration event. Some URLs are sent via unsolicited mails (read: SPAM) and are using social engineering techniques that fool internet users that they came from respectable news agency like CNN. Full Details HERE and HERE.

My advise/s for the day:
1. Stick to respectable news and information sites (CNN, Time, Google, Yahoo, etc.)
2. Verify your URLs (the ones after the http thingie). Respectable news and information sites usually do not have redirects to other sites (other than their own).
3. Make sure your Antivirus and other security software programs are up to date. And of course your Operating Systems (OS) should be patched. I know AV software program may not be enough, but AV + patched OS is a good start.
4. Be safe online.

Hope this makes sense.

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