Jun 28, 2014

Can't login to my Yahoo Mail.. Yahoo is spacing out.

Posted Jun 28, 2014
Seems Yahoo(tm) is having technical difficulties. I keep trying to login to my Yahoo Mail and it keeps logging me out. I feel like a program stuck in an infinite loop!

Yahoo has released an official notice:

Important Notice:  Damaged undersea cable may affect some Yahoo services - Yahoo services have been impacted by the cutting of an undersea cable operated by a third party. We have taken steps to mitigate the impact including re-routing traffic. However, it's possible that you may experience latency or login looping across our services. We apologize for the inconvenience .

Yahoo Mail's downtime is killing me! I hope this gets fixed soon. I need to use my Yahoo account A.S.A.P. Even my Yahoo iPhone app logged me out. Side note: can't believe I'm still using my high school email, manuel_igop hahaha! Very professional.

May 9, 2014

Hello Stranger (on CouchSurfing)

Posted May 9, 2014
So I've been trying CouchSurfing for a while now. For those who don't know, CouchSurfing is a social networking site where travelers can either surf or host. To surf is to live in someone else's home when you're in another country, and to host is to accommodate a traveler in your place. Most of the time it's free, at least for my place it is. I read a few hosts who charge a small fee but I'm not into that. So what's in it for me.. hmmm.. I genuinely just want to mingle with people of different culture. Plus I'm single and bored, so it's one of the many things I do to keep myself busy. I'm not really looking for anything more (if you know what I mean.. still don't know what I'm talking about? SEX!). I read there are cases that hosts expect it from surfers, or it's somehow given, so it's a bit scary for girls.

I'm glad several foreigners have already trusted me with their "life", yes life, because it's not easy to trust a stranger. Imagine living in a home where you knew nothing about the person / people living there. They could be bad guys, a serial killer, rapist, or, worse, a vegetarian! But I think this is the beauty of couchsurfing, it brings my faith back in humanity; it reminds me that many people are still inherently good; a timely break from Philippine politics.

I have hosted three times. The first was Silver, a Vietnamese, second were Mandy and Danny, both Chinese, and the last were Namie and Lala, both Vietnamese. And so far I really enjoyed my time with them, especially sharing views and knowing more about their culture and country. I enjoy life talks a lot, but I usually don't have this kind of conversation with friends. Maybe if we're really close or you're an open-minded person.  Many are into basketball, show business news, rumors and gossips but that's just not me.. not at all. I like to talk about culture, experiences, social theories, human behaviors, love and the likes. This is my small talk, and I'm glad I get to talk to my cs friends til dawn about this stuff.

The only negative thing I see so far is the goodbye part. Contrary to popular belief, I get attached easily and I hate it when people leave; people always leave (but sometimes they come back - Peyton, OTH lol, I'm a girly guy. I like TV series with good love story, and I love the songs and quotes from them too, haha!).

I'll probably try CouchSurfing in October when I'm in Thailand. I'd like to experience surfing, and sleeping in someone else's couch / bed just for experience. Hopefully, I'll make new friends along the way.

Mar 13, 2014

When your greatest hangup beats you to save the date

Posted Mar 13, 2014
This is inspired by a thought catalog article shared to me by one of my friends.

When your greatest hangup beats you to save the date

Nothing will ever prepare you for the emotions that come pouring in from knowing that the person whom you loved the most is about to get married.

[The calm before the storm]
The initial feeling may be very peaceful, like a breath of fresh air knowing that she's happily treading through life with someone she loves. But brace yourself because this feeling is as temporary as the recent political scandals in the Philippines.

[Heartbreak all over again]
When things sink in, you'll initially feel a bit of a sting. A tiny but significant cut inside your heart that leaves an open wound.  That "someone" she's with, who you probably considered a friend, becomes someone you barely know, until he becomes someone you don't like at all: the epitome of someone you're not because she chose him and not you.

You'll try to ignore the feeling and fail, of course, because every cell in your body is protesting against the thought of her spending the rest of her life with someone else. You'll rationalize that all those years of moving on and being clinically insane have guarded your heart and taught you to be strong and resilient. You'll bang your head against the wall because, by now, you should have already moved on... You should have, but you didn't. After countless nights of meditating and analyzing love and life, you disappointingly find yourself back to square one. Like you learned nothing at all. And that's how probably love is: the more you know, the less you understand.

You won't expect anyone to get what you're going through. Your family might not even know she's getting married. You'll try to tell your friends but many won't understand. Some will try to console you. Some will laugh at you or with you. Sometimes you will break down and cry in front of them and you'll feel they are but spectators; only curious, nothing more. You're very fortunate if a handful can make you feel better. And there will be that one friend who'll almost understand what you're going through. He or she, along with the handful, will be your sanity.

[When will it ever stop]
And after the perennial moving on drama from the time she was engaged, you'll find yourself in another predicament, or rather a milestone.. The Wedding Day. You thought that what you felt was a fluke, a freak of nature, but little did you know, nothing has prepared you for arguably the most miserable day of your life yet.

You know when and where it will happen, but you won't do anything. It's the point in time when your point became pointless. When you've already reconciled with yourself that you and her are never gonna happen.

You thought the experience of every cell in your body protesting was bad enough, now every square inch of your humanity is fighting for freedom. Shackled by chains of despair inflicted by no one but yourself. You want to do something.. Probably something crazy in both celebration and protest to the birth of a new beginning: her new life where you can't do anything about it anymore, at least not legally and Godly.

[It's beyond reasonable doubt]
You'll sing to the melody of your favorite song because somebody almost owns her now, and you'll try to live somehow; make peace and just accept.. That's Life and Not Love. You'll probably arrive at the most logical conclusion: this is nothing but a mental disorder.

Finally, from this meandering experience, you'll crack a half smile from one life-changing epiphany: the only person who truly understands you is a stranger who blogs a gazilion miles away. All of a sudden, life is "normal" again. :)

courtesy of xkcd.com

Feb 21, 2014

The Moonshine Mishap

Posted Feb 21, 2014
This article has been updated to reflect the awesome actions done by Moonshine.

This is not a review of the Moonshine Bar and Restaurant in Makati. It's just a minor rant. Okay, maybe I'll add in some review.

The Good

The first time I went to Moonshine Bar I was so delighted that I gave a compliment to the owner of the restaurant. Their cocktails, even though a little expensive, are quite good. The salmon I ordered was perfectly cooked. I like the ambiance too and the playlist. The place is located beside Distillery, Jupiter.

The 2nd or 3rd time we were there was last week when we partied til dawn in Moonshine, and it was fun; maybe a bit too much because I left my credit card. I wasn't aware of it until a friend of mine called to tell me.

Today, I visited Makati again to get my credit card from Moonshine. I invited my friend for a couple of drinks.. it was supposed to be just another laid back Thursday night. We went there and it was empty. I thought, great! Some peace and quiet. I got my credit card and we ordered some drinks.

[Update] Moonshine apologized for what happened. I think there was a miscommunication between the upper management and the staff. See more details below.

The Mishap

We were supposed to go to a coffee shop after because I needed to copy an installer and try a game we researched about. Then we saw that there's an outlet near the table.. we decided to open our laptops and try the game since there weren't much people anyway, and it is to my judgement that we weren't bothering anyone in doing so; I think there was only one group outside, and a couple in another table. That was it.

We were even assisted by a waiter when we plugged in our laptops. He joked that it was P120. Actually I didn't mind if we pay, but he said he was just joking. When we finished our first drink, we ordered another round. After a while, I noticed one waiter (or not sure if he's the manager) was regularly checking our bottles. I was a bit annoyed. It didn't stop there, he started asking us if we'll order some more even though we were only half way through our drinks.

I felt it was kind of rude. Maybe the way it was said, I felt that they were implicitly telling us we weren't paying enough to justify the use of our laptops; I also didn't like the tone how it was articulated. I would understand if  there were people waiting for a table, but even so, it was still rude. And if that's the case, we'd be sensitive enough not to use our laptops esp. if there are many customers. He was also inconsistent.. after a while, he suddenly said we weren't allowed to use our laptops, then I asked him to reiterate what he just said because I was quite confused. Then he changed the topic that we should just order more. I said, if we weren't allowed to use our laptops then why assist us in the first place, why not just said that we weren't allowed to do so. So what is it really then?

I'm disappointed with what happened so we just left. I was supposed to order some more because I was getting hungry, but after the incident, I lost my appetite. I think staff in general like in restaurants, malls, etc should have more training. Training for being polite, avoiding unnecessary comments, avoiding being rude to customers, being articulate and explaining policies in a way that's not offensive.

Faith in humanity restored

On the bright side, I'm glad how Moonshine handled the situation after. They were very apologetic and they explained (clearly, this time) what happened. I'm satisfied with the explanation, because at the end of the day, it's better to get a clear image of what really happened. Like was there a policy prohibiting the use of laptops in the restaurant or why were we troubled persistently with petty annoyances.

My sincerest appreciation goes to Renz Mediarito of Moonshine for taking precise actions to what happened. My faith in humanity is restored. I still like the place and will definitely go back and recommend it to people I know.

Feb 18, 2014

You can have multiple Paypal accounts

Posted Feb 18, 2014
There are times when you want two Paypal accounts, e.g. you currently have a personal account but you want another account to handle your business or premier account. For this case, Paypal is allowing an individual to have two accounts: one personal and one premiere / business account.

However, you can't register the same credit card in more than account. For this you have to use a separate credit card, or remove the previous one and register it to the new account.

In summary, it's not illegal to own multiple Paypal accounts.

From their help center:
Yes. You can have one Personal account and one Premier or Business account. You can add more email addresses, debit or credit cards, and bank accounts to your account, but each account must have its own email address and financial information. You can also upgrade your Personal account to a Premier or Business account.

Feb 10, 2014

I feel deceived by Globe's Unlimited LTE Plan

Posted Feb 10, 2014
[Update] You can sign the petition for Globe to remove the capping here. Thanks JP for sharing the link.

Last year when iPhone 5 was released, I subscribed to Globe's 1,799 postpaid plan because it promised Unlimited LTE to its iPhone 5 users. All of a sudden, Globe released a fair usage policy (FUP). What happened was my unlimited LTE data became limited to 3GB per month.

It's stated in Globe's FUP that Mobile surfing offers from Globe are generally meant for emailing, browsing and search activities. Seems awfully strange to read that line after I was offered an unlimited 42mbps data plan.

I asked Globe if I can downgrade my plan but they said I have to pay since I'm currently locked in. I replied, "Shouldn't it be free because you changed your policy / advertisement?" They said they will "sort and iron out the details." So for the mean time, I wait. So while I wait, I will write

I want to downgrade because I'd like to get a DSL instead with no nonsense capping, and I'm okay that I can only use it at home, at least it's unlimited. Globe's unlimited LTE is not worth it anymore, I'm more than satisfied with powersurf 99 if I can't use my unli data plan for downloading and streaming. 

I'm actually not against capping, I'm against extreme capping! Firstly, the 3GB a month, that's way too small, and next is the sudden drop in speed; from LTE's 42mbps theoretical speed, my connection speed will be downgraded to 2G (~50kbps-200kbps). So from around 44,000,000 bits/second down to 51,000 bits/s? A 99.9% loss?! (That's worse than the Philippine stock market!)

It would be more acceptable if my LTE connection were to be downgraded to 3G. Anyway, I don't know which committee should decide on this, is it the NTC or the 'madlang people'? Nevertheless, I feel deceived by Globe's false advertisement.

The cartoon below summarizes how I'm feeling about Globe's FUP.

Click the image for full size.
Credits to Sir Roy for the rotten banana logic and convo.
I intentionally wrote Unlimited LTE instead of Unlimited Data Plan even though fewer people can relate to it. Unli data is not a compelling argument since Globe is insisting that the data is still unlimited. So my argument is why advertise unlimited LTE when it's not really unlimited?

Jan 30, 2014

How to know if a credit card is Visa or Mastercard

Posted Jan 30, 2014
In certain cases, it's crucial a credit card's issuer type.

You can identify the type by looking at the first few numbers of your credit card:

Visa starts with 4.
MasterCard starts with 51-55.
Diner's club starts with 36 / 38.
Discover starts with 6011 / 65.
JCB starts with 35.
American Express starts with 34 / 37.

Source: Wikipedia

Consider my case: My friend bought an item for me. She asked me to pay her back by depositing the money to her credit card. I was given the credit card number (even though this is not secure) and the bank's name. When I went to my online payment, I registered the card but it asked me if it's Visa or Mastercard. My friend is not available and there's a cut off time so I need to know immediately.

Jan 10, 2014

Apple Store Philippines goes on sale!

Posted Jan 10, 2014
Apple Store Philippines goes on one-day sale across the board today, January 10, 2014. All items are on sale!

It is worth noting that the sale is around 6-20% off the original price and you'll save more on lower end items. *Hmmm.. what to buy... what to buy*

ItemStarting FromBeforeSave% Off
iPad Mini Retina P19,080 P20,490 P1,410 6.9%
iPad Air P23,480 P25,490 P2,010 7.9%
iPad Mini P14,480 P15,490 P1,010 6.5%
iPad 2 P17,580 P18,990 P1,410 7.4%

ItemStarting FromBeforeSave% Off
MacBook Air P44,980 P49,990 P5,010 10%
iMac P62,980 P67,990 P5,010 7.4%
MacBook Pro Retina P62,980 P67,990 P5,010 7.4%
MacBook Pro P54,980 P59,990 P5,010 8.3%

ItemStarting FromBeforeSave% Off
iPod Nano P7,680 P8,290 P610 7.4%
iPod Touch P15,080 P16,490 P1,410 8.6%
Apple TV P3,980 P4,990 P1,010 20%