Archive for September, 2009

Hello World!…Again

September 29, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: < 1 minute

After this site went down for almost three days, it has finally moved to a new webhost on a fresh WordPress install. The site’s outage has nothing to do with Ondoy.

It was caused by a full blown incompetent web hosting provider ripping off every blogger’s pocket. My previous host is not based in Manila so they have no reason not to deliver their service thoroughly by all means.

The succeeding post will tell you the horrific tale that I’ve gone through just to save this blog from a losing end. I would remain resolute in sharing my experience so that you would also get the chance to really know that there’s a true person writing behind this blog.

Looks Complements Getting a Job or Promotion: Gillette Study Shows

September 29, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

People who are not so self-conscious may somewhat raise their brows over this succeeding post but allow me to simply focus on the salient aspects of the study.

Well known male cosmetic and personal grooming brand Gillette recently commissioned a study of more than 500 HR professionals through a survey conducted by Harris Interactive has exclaimed that 84% of HR professionals who responded agreed that well-groomed employees have higher chances of getting promoted up in the corporate ladder compared to those who are not so well-groomed.

Career expert, Mark Jeffries and GQ style correspondent, Brett Fahlgren are invited by Gillette to share their expertise by supplementing the study with their own insights as to its relevance in today’s competitive job market.

The nature of today’s job market is pretty much congested with too many talents but meager opportunities. Most often, the candidates that standout are the ones chosen.

As far as qualifications—education and experience are considerably weighed. However, based on the study, HR practitioners merit those who create a lasting impression especially for entry level applicants and those aspiring for the higher positions in the corporate ladder.

Even the dirtiest jobs will require you to at least dress up a bit and show your best foot forward at first before they would even hire you. Being well-groomed doesn’t mean you have to be handsome or as gorgeous as a model. It simply implies the wellness and the confidence of being able to carry yourself well even in the most stressful situations like an interview.

If you have what it takes or is willing to take yourself to the next level, Gillette has designed the Gillette Career Advantage to provide guys with the proper tools, information, and expert advice to empower them in today’s rapidly growing and ever competitive job market. In line with these, the Gillette Resource Center works closely on how Gillette products can help make this job seeking experience a success and every promotional endeavor a fruitful one.

What’s your stance on this? Leave your comments and let’s start talking.

Pls. note that above badge has been scraped out by some plugin incompatibility issues and is not intentional. This is a sponsored post.

Typhoon Ondoy Victims Need Help

September 29, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Allow me to pause a bit from writing tech posts and give way to a public service endeavor which I deem necessary and the best way possible to do especially that I have the power in my hands to spread the message and gather around some people with golden hearts especially my readers who are willing to help my fellowmen who are in need.

It’s been two days since the catastrophic Typhoon “Ondoy” / “Ketsana” hit the Philippines big time with so much rain that caused severe flooding all over Metro Manila and its nearby provinces. The horrifying event consumed some parts of the country under water thereby washing away properties—houses, cars, homes; live stocks, and human lives.

The good thing is that the Filipino behind all these calamities never stops hoping and consistently clings to their faith in the Almighty. Unwanted occasions such as these often unite us and will continue to make us stronger as a nation. Like any country in the World, these times are inevitable especially when we become subjected to an earthly ordeal. The challenge for us then boils down to each one of us making our move to extend our hand to those who needs carrying.

At this time of writing, I can only think of helping in this way possible. Spreading the word and hopefully making some sense that writing this over could somehow create some sparks of kindness to anybody who’s reading this at this very moment. Many storms will come and pass but don’t let it take away your hope that a better day is yet to come.

You’ve heard it in the news and had seen it all over. The call is yours to respond.

If your heart says, “I want to help”. You can head on to The Philippine National Red Cross Donation page or if you feel like donating via Paypal which would be much faster, you can do so through TEXTPower.Org Paypal Address courtesy of the Blog Herald.

Singles Quiz a La Lovapalooza

September 24, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

For people who are just clueless on why they are still single at their age have a lot of reasons be one. It really doesn’t mean that you are to take a relationship too seriously or must take a look at getting your life settled for good like getting married. Sometimes, having a special someone creates balance between work and your personal life.


Quiz by CupidMarket.com
Quiz brought to you by Online Dating

The internet alone offers tons of dating sites both local and international with the ability to interact with its members via chat and email among other means and could either be free or paid. There are also some web services that offer interactive applications engaging users to answer some questions that often provide thought provoking results, humorous but rather rhetorical questions yet most of the time  entertaining.

With most of them being flash-based widgets, you can easily get hooked into it and the moment you get your results depending on your given answers, you simply can’t resist but laugh at yourself because generally most are true. Majority of interactive quizzes talk about personality, relationships, and intelligence to name a few. One of the most interesting ones I have ever come across was this interactive singles quiz website having just 7 questions that squeezes up your inputs resulting into a nifty widget that you can place on your site or blog plus a short statement of truism presented comically because of the funny graphics.

A definitely “must try” web-based application. I’ve tried it myself and the result is obvious, the image above tells it.

WordCamp Philippines 2009 Memorabilia

September 24, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Attending my first WordCamp was a great experience. I had a blast. If you have observed, this photo wasn’t attached to my previous post about the WordCamp Philippines’ event highlights. I intentionally did that so I can showcase this photo on one post.

WordCamp Philippines

WordCamp Philippines

I didn’t have any photos about the event that I can consider mine. It so happen that my digital camera wasn’t fully charged when I went to the event. It was awfully mess of me not to make sure it was okay before going. I charged the battery for just 4 hours but that wasn’t enough.

When I came home, I tried to use my sister’s batteries for her digital camera and it worked. Now, it’s telling me to purchase new ones since mine are already pieces of junk.

Going to an event like this needs some preparation too. If you’re planning to join one, better bring with you some business cards because you’ll never know who you could bump into otherwise they might just forget you after the event even if you email them.

Have the guts to start a conversation. Whether you like it or not, that’s what you are there for—to make new acquaintances and meet the right people. I’ve been a laidback like I used to so I didn’t get to know more people than I should. Another lesson learned.

Anyway, those are just my two cents. Do yourself a favor and stop being me! (At least in these situations)

iSCSI SAN Software and Storage Virtualization: An Overview

September 24, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

It’s going to be a little bit tough this time discussing something as obscure as this topic but I’ll certainly do my best to make it lighter and understandable as I can.

Web hosting as we all know operate on virtualized servers. Considering the concept of Storage virtualization involves the abstraction of logical storage from physical storage which means virtualization of storage takes place by making data independent of its location.

Having a little concept about web hosting, normally an IP is provided. An iSCSI (pronounced eye-skuzzy) also known as Internet Small Computer System Interface that is IP-based serves as the storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities. Whenever SCSI commands are carried over within the network, iSCSI facilitates the data transfers over intranets and manages location-independent data storage and retrieval over long distances using its existing network infrastructure. It also makes possible the transmission of data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and the Internet.

As a popular storage area network (SAN) protocol, it provides organizations the ability to consolidate storage into data center storage arrays while at the same time providing hosts (such as database and web servers) with the illusion of locally-attached disks making it a lot better than the traditional Fibre Channel, which requires special-purpose cabling.

Having iSCSI storage software makes possible the conversion of any standard 64-bit or 32-bit Windows Server into a scalable SAN that can work over an existing Ethernet network. A great example of this is that of StarWind Enterprise Server that helps organizations build rock-solid, high-performance IP SAN on IT-friendly budget.

Part of iSCSI SANs disaster recovery mechanism is its ability to allow entire disk arrays migration across a WAN with minimal configuration changes, thus, making storage “routable” in the same manner as network traffic which can also be applied in extreme cases whenever there are prolonged outages. In simple terms, it can function as a back up.

I have only discussed the salient points of the topic and tried not to be too technical as much as possible. If you have any questions or insights that you would like to share, feel free to do so at the comments section. This post was brought to you by our friends from www.starwindsoftware.com.

Yahoo Meme Features Disclosed

September 23, 2009 | By | 10 Replies More

Reading time: 6 – 10 minutes

My previous post entitled “Can Yahoo Meme Takeover Twitter? serves as a prelude about this unique and rather controversial service that may soon if time favors can take the place of Twitter.

We can have our stance both ways—positive and negative or we can go neutral. In the eyes of an observant, let’s examine the service with scrutiny to see if it catches our attention, interest, exceed our expectations or the other way around.

Let me start by showing you how the home page looks like.

Yahoo Meme Homepage

Yahoo Meme Homepage

On the top right of the home page, you’ll see the links–Popular, Find and Sign in. Popular is where you can find the trending topics with Meme, Find is for people search and some featured profiles and of course, the Sign-in link for account holders or those with invites.

The central portion of the page however is an email field for those who want access to the service. Once you’ve entered your email, you’ll get this message, “Congrats! You will receive news about Meme.”

Assuming you already have an account, here’s the exciting part that I’m going to show you. Sign-in from this URL: http://meme.yahoo.com/home/ then you’ll be directed to your Yahoo Mail account sign-in page. If you don’t have a Yahoo Mail account, then you’re advised to have one first. After logging-in, you’ll be shown your dashboard (see image below.)

Yahoo Meme Dashboard

Yahoo Meme Dashboard

The dashboard is divided into four tabs—Text, Photo, Video and Music. The links on the upper right corner of the page are marked Followers, Invite friends, Settings, and Sign out. The bottom left however have links to Help, About, Feedback, Terms of Service, Additional terms, Privacy, Copyright, and Guidelines opposite the Yahoo home page link.

The Text tab is where you can share texts, links and other things textual and is not limited to 140 characters unlike Twitter. Photo sharing is where you can flaunt your amazing photos to the rest of your friends. You can either upload your file or drop a link URL and add caption on the image before you hit the post photo button. Videos on the other hand can only be shared using either a YouTube or Vimeo link.

To share your music, you must have a working URL to place on the field which means that you must have a music file hosted on the web (if its exclusive to you) or you may search for social music networking sites like imeem, or even MySpace.

The controversial feature of the service is the ability to pass along information generated by one person to another virally. Twitter has RT (retweet) and Meme has “repost” which doesn’t make any difference. Twitter has “followers” the same as Meme.

Yahoo Meme Dashboard Repost feature

Yahoo Meme Dashboard Repost feature

It is tactful of Yahoo to simply segregate the type of information that can be shared within the system that makes it easier to filter out. It was a pretty organized system that when you open up your dashboard, you can easily spell the difference between the types of information being shared. You can’t miss a detail with this one unlike Twitter, you have to skim through each link and open as many links as possible just to find what you’re looking for. I should say that Twitter is really congested.

Looking back at the Dashboard, followers link at the upper right corner tells you the number of people that follows you. Again, it’s going to suffer another Twitter comparison. In this page, both followers and following show the avatars much bigger in size compared to Twitter but without a hint of their activity unless you click on them to visit their profile plus the following page is dependent on the followers page. You can only see the former if you click on the latter. They are not separate pages.

Yahoo Meme Followers and Following Page

Yahoo Meme Followers and Following Page

The Invite friends option allows you to of course from the name itself but don’t take it too easy as it may put you in dismay that this service is not even integrated within your Yahoo email account. It requires you to manually type in the emails of your friends or colleagues which was really a hassle and I’m hoping that this is just for now.

Assuming you’re through with your Dashboard, once you click followers or Your Meme which is your profile page, there’s no way you can go back to the dashboard via a text link which is no where could be found on the upper right corner of the page. If you are to find any link down the page, it isn’t there too. The only way you can go back to your dashboard is by pressing the Back button on your browser. Hmm, that’s quite a mess right there.

However, if you find the purple Meme button at the top right section of the page useless, then it’s not. At first I thought it was but clicking on it will take you back to your dashboard. Okay…glad I’m able to figure that out!

Yahoo Meme Dashboard More button

Yahoo Meme Dashboard More button

Among other things, let me add that most bottom links are not necessary for site navigation other than the More button display which simply applies to opening up more options down the current page.

So there you have it, the salient features of the service in detail with no intention to hurt Yahoo Meme or Twitter in any way. We cannot compare Apples from Oranges but we can compare copycats from the original. Makes sense right?

Does Clock Widget For Websites Attract Longer Visits?

September 22, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Time tracking is an integral part of human existence. Time as well indefinitely accounts every human action. As a blogger, I tend to track the number of minutes it takes me to complete a 200-word post.

A typical blog visitor normally takes just a few seconds to decide if he is to read a post. Sometimes, it only takes half a second for a website to attract attention that is why a highly responsive web server and an optimized web page can spell the difference.

el reloj del Conejo Blanco - White Rabbit´s clockWhenever I come across a blog, the first thing I consider is the amount of time it would take me to finish a lengthy post. However, there are times that whenever I see Flash clocks/calender widgets embedded within the blog I’m reading, I tend to slow down a bit and watch those cool animated flash widgets move more than simply checking what time it was. There’s like a power of reverse psychology working against me that makes it so inviting thus encouraging me to stay a little longer that I should.

You might want to try embedding an animated time widget that is beautifully designed to probably run an experiment in order to find out if doing so will produce favorable results.

WordCamp Philippines 2009 Highlights

September 21, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 5 – 8 minutes

My presence at the recently concluded WordCamp which was held last September 19 marks my first blogging event attendance since I started blogging in December 2008. I’m just one of the many local WordPress enthusiasts empowered by this Open Source Content Management Software to embrace the web and explore its endless capabilities.

On the day’s event, I started the day waking up at 4am to publish my prelude to the event which I cannot do a live blog nor tweet about due to some resource restraints.

The Program

The Philippine National Anthem was played then event’s Lead Organizer Bloggie Robillo of the Mindanao Bloggers Community delivered the Opening Remarks. He proudly introduced the Mindanao Bloggers Community as a solid society of bloggers (not necessary residents of Mindanao) with the aim of promoting Mindanao in their most positive way while at the same time using WordPress as blogging tool and reaching out to others who are eager to learn WordPress and blogging.

Beau Lebens of Automattic, the makers of WordPress talked about the WordPress Family—WordPress, WordPress MU, bbPress, BuddyPress, BackPress, and GlotPress.

His talk focused on this presentation below:
Meet The Family (Philippines Remix)

View more documents from Beau Lebens.

Markku Seguerra on the other hand talked about WordPress—what it can do because of its popularity, power and its vulnerabilities once it goes live on the Internet. A pretty rich talk indeed.

Danilo Arao, a journalist and blogger, introduced Citizen Journalism and its impact to society especially on the upcoming national elections in 2010 and how bloggers and blogging can influence the citizenry to shape up a different point of view. The talk was lively with some pinch of humor but can definitely leave a blogger pondering afterwards.

Seth Bindernagel of Mozilla spilled the beans about the localization efforts of Firefox for Filipino web users. He highlighted the Philippines as one of the biggest contributors to Firefox’s growth globally while at the same time encouraging efforts to support the Open Web.

Check out his presentation below:
Seth Bindernagel Presentation on WordCamp Philippines 2009: Firefox Localization for Filipino Users

Halfway through the event, Jeff Villafranca discussed the substantial elements of having an editorial voice and good taste especially in writing for technology niche blogs. I find this talk rather self-explanatory however most topics like these are the ones that are often overlooked or missed. The message not only applies to tech blogs but for all types of blogs too. Most of the time, tech blogs are boring and too jargonized which I think sways most people that are not so tech savvy. I believe there are varieties of ways where we can present stories on tech blogs in a more conversational tone with simpler approach.

Vlogging Mythbusters was tackled by Video Blogger Coy Caballes. The talk focused on uncovering some of the most common misconceptions about video blogging. It was short but concise. Video blogging is easy but may require most of the time creativity and a little bit of talent.

Gail Villanueva showcases the capability of WordPress as a Portfolio & Directory Site. The topic was quite technical because web development languages were discussed such as PHP, HTML and CSS and how they are applied to tweak websites for design-optimization among many other things.

WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System) was tackled by Karla Redor prior to the Q&A segment. Karla talked about the three among the many WooThemes theme design. The presentation was easy to understand and I think she had an easy task doing it since WooThemes are naturally user-friendly.

The Q&A with experts followed and among the things that I’d like to share is better left said on my succeeding post. Congratulations to the event organizers and a big thank you to all the speakers for selflessly sharing their expertise to the rest of the attendees and thank you as well to all the sponsors that help make it happen.

WordCamp Today @ 8am UTC

September 19, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: < 1 minute

I will be attending my first ever blogging event today, the second WordCamp Conference held here in the Philippines since 2008. A WordCamp is a gathering of all WordPress users, developers and those behind the core to speak about it, share what’s new and increase awareness on this one-of-a-kind blogging platform embraced by millions.

I haven’t promised any live blogging about this but I’ll make sure I can get you all posted on the highlights of the event.

This is going to be exciting! Have you attended WordCamp before? Tell me about it.

Holiday Cards to Jumpstart the Season

September 19, 2009 | By | 5 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Am I getting too festive about this post? Well, I was really looking forward to the holidays and I thought it would be great to share something while I can since as the season draw nearer, the more we become busy and the less we become attentive to those things we should have thought about earlier on.

Thanksgiving is a few more weeks from now same with Christmas and New Year, so while we still have the time and maybe some extra to spare, why don’t we take a glimpse to some of the most fascinating collection of greeting cards by simply heading on to photo holiday cards site so we can pick up designs in advance or may be even reserve early for the holidays.

Ecards nowadays are commonly used to send greetings to those we hold dear for special occasions and I’m not against that. However, I still find it more sincere and sweet to do it the old-fashioned way with a well-written personalized message. Would you agree? Why or why not?

Can Yahoo Meme Takeover Twitter?

September 18, 2009 | By | 18 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Most of you may be aware of the hype that Twitter has been getting these past few years and generally this microblogging platform has indeed changed the way information is shared on the web and how it’s constantly evolving the social media scene.

The network of millions of Tweeters all over the world is as enormous as the applications serving the platform for its users. I even jumped into the bandwagon since I started blogging and as I can see it, Twitter has really gone a long way despite the huge negative feedbacks from the internet media and attacks to the system by the hackers of cyberspace.

Just recently, we came to know that Yahoo has been putting up with something similar to Twitter and now that it has finally gone live. I would like to share with you some tidbits of information about it.

What is Yahoo Meme?

Yahoo Meme (link removed due to 403 errors detected mainly because of privilege-only access) is a service that allows users to share whatever they find interesting on the web—text, photo, video and music all-in-one completely organized tabs which you can find on the dashboard.

Yahoo Meme Dashboard

Yahoo Meme Dashboard

Yahoo hopes to make Meme as an efficient memeplex where fragments of information multiply and distribute, evolve or even die however maintaining its origin while giving credit to where it’s due. Once you post something on your dashboard (called a Meme), it stays with you. The credit is attached to your name, it can only get viral but it can’t be modified.

Meme’s user interface is pretty much easy but I intend not to talk about it for now. There are great features and there are some where you just might get lost. But for the sake of comparing it with Twitter, I must say that we can’t just compare something that is fresh from the oven against something that has been fairly cooked by time.

It’s too early to say where the service is heading but given Yahoo’s resources and marketing reach, we cannot discount that it can be a threat to Twitter soon. What do you think?

Beware of Paypal Account Blocked Emails

September 17, 2009 | By | 7 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

If you’re a Paypal account holder then you better read on. As a morning routine, I normally start-off the day checking my emails and filing them out after reading them on my folders.

As part of the task, I also check the spam folder once in a while because I had it set to auto-delete only after two weeks because sometimes legitimate mails go straight to it which of course most of you are aware.

I was surprised when I suddenly got this email on my spam folder with the subject, “Alert: Account-Blocked!!!” which claims to be from “Paypal” but the sender email address was paypalalert@security.2internet.com which also uses the Paypal logo with a blurred or unrecognizable TM mark (see attached screenshot).

I continued to read-on and it says,

Dear Customer,

Your paypal account has been blocked for security reasons. Hence we request you to unblock your Paypal account by clicking on the link below immediately for uninterrupted services.

Paypal Phishing Attempt Email

Paypal Phishing Attempt Email

Alright, while there had been security issues with Paypal before although at some point it may have something to do with hackers inserting key loggers into your computers to hack it by recording every keystroke that you do, it’s not impossible that they can get your Paypal account password.

But how can this be possible? If you are click happy with links especially those that are attached on your email whether it came from your inbox or spam folder then better think again. Vigilance is the key to safety.

If the sender asked you to click on the link especially if it’s suspicious, don’t do it because if you do, chances are you might be introducing a malware to attack the security of your computer thus compromising your privacy and valuable information not just simply wiping out your system with viruses. This had happened a lot in many instances that history has written about so don’t fall into the trap.

In order for you to get an idea on where the links are heading without clicking them, simply hover your cursors over the link while at the same time looking at the lower left hand corner of the browser window. There you will see the exact URL of the link and if you suspect something fishy or nasty redirect is going to happen do not continue. Firefox has the Interclue add-on that provides information about the links landing page plus other important details.

Based on the email I have received, the email address comes from paypalalert@security.2internet.com. The clue is that the domain where the email came from is security.2internet.com not paypal.com and even if they do use “Paypal” as the subject line, simply don’t rely on it because Paypal does not use undisclosed-recipients.

A few minutes after finalizing this post, Paypal has confirmed that the email I have received was a phishing attempt designed by identity thieves trying to trick me into revealing my password and other personally verifiable information through phishing emails and fake websites (see screenshot below).

Paypal Phishing Attempt Email Submission Response

Paypal Phishing Attempt Email Submission Response

If you ever encounter something similar, a phishing email or a fake email, forward it to spoof@paypal.com and delete it. Don’t be the last to know. Stop fraud.

No More Repetitive Tasks with WinAutomation

September 16, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

If I were to ask which everyday tasks do you normally undertake on your computer, I’m sure that it’s going to be quite a long list to enumerate especially on a Windows-based system, correct?

For most of us that uses the computer almost everyday, it can be tiresome and boring to do the same tasks over again like controlling computer applications, printing documents, working with files and folders, web pages, automating FTP tasks, sending emails, working with databases and many more.

However, we don’t always have to handle the burdens of repetitious tasks. WinAutomation can give you the power to accomplish things that previously requires a programmer or learning codes with its powerful and easy-to-use graphical interface.

WinAutomation Console and Job Designer window

WinAutomation Console and Job Designer window

WinAutomation allows you to build simple and complex jobs that auto-run using a powerful macro recorder that records mouse clicks and key strokes. The automated jobs can be built using a ready-made action to control applications to run those repetitive tasks mentioned above and much more.

Creating an automated job is easy. Simply drag and drop the actions on its editor, add a few details about the task and you’re ready to go.

It’s powerful and adequate enough for even the most complex jobs with integrated support for variables and loops and conditionals, extensive error handling, with a built-in debugger, plus advanced features such as image recognition that literally sees what is displayed on your screen.

After creating a job, you can attach triggers to automate your tasks (based on your preferred schedule) that you setup using a hot key to monitor folders—if it’s modified, transferred or deleted; Internet connection, web servers and a lot more. In order to keep track of jobs, simply view the log files for complete details.

The professional edition of WinAutomation includes a job compiler that allows you to compile the jobs you’ve made into stand-alone .net exe application which you can distribute and run on any Windows-based computer without the need to have WinAutomation installed.

There are many great features and benefits this automation software provides and having one yourself is priceless. I’m a seeing myself using this software for a very long time thus increasing my productivity in so many ways possible.

I’m still on the process of getting used to it (but I’m actually having loads of fun) and hopefully when I get to encounter something beneficial to share, I’ll let you all know. There’s really nothing to rant about because it’s really a great software. To get a glimpse of what WinAutomation can do for you, simply play the succeeding embedded video.

A 30-day trial of the software can be downloaded from here. In case you have further questions or inquiries about this program, feel free to leave it at the comments section.

WinAutomation is brought to you by our friends from WinAutomation.com. An exclusive professional license is provided to me to give it a full run. They will also be giving away three WinAutomation 3.0 complimentary licenses as a giveaway to the readers of this blog so watch out for it.

I apologize to all my readers who were able to read the preceding paragraph. Unfortunately, this will no longer be happening because right after this post was published, I’ve never heard anything from them. Updated 23rd September 2009.

Jag Foo from WinAutomation contacted us and confirmed that the said giveaways will push through. I’ll keep you all posted. Updated 30th September 2009.

Taking Strides: A Coveted Slot to the SEMCON (Search Engine Marketing Conference) Philippines 2009

September 15, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Blogging is one of the many facets of an internet marketing strategy. Gone are those days when blogs are mainly journals for it has evolved in so many ways immeasurable and I don’t see it fading in the limelight not even in the future years. Like the overused saying goes and let me drag it again for the sake of this post and I quote,

“Many are called but few are chosen. “

Hundreds of thousands of people can start off a blog but only a few surpasses the burn out period while only a handful becomes successful and because blogging is becoming main stream, various forms of media has plunged into the bandwagon and decided to engage in this hardcore internet written media.

Earning via blogs is not a lucrative scheme that promises overnight success and neither does a profitable business in the real world. It takes time, effort and tons of patience. But why do most blogs is left abandoned right before they had the traffic and revenue? There could be a lot of reasons behind this but one of the main reasons I could think of is the lack of strategic approach in order to achieve specific goals.

Whether you are running a blog for personal profit or for business boost, it’s imperative that you know some proven techniques that will help you along the way to increase your online presence and ROI.

Uncovering a great deal of information from search marketing as a key to customer acquisition, conversion, and retention through proper site optimization (measured closely by web analytics to step up a notch one’s online presence) can all be revealed in the upcoming Search Engine Marketing Conference (SEMCON) slated in October 1-2, 2009 to be held at the Grand Ball of Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City, Philippines.

SEMCON is primarily designed for interactive & digital marketers, brand marketers, webmasters, bloggers, and those involved in Internet marketing and for every soul who’s brave enough to face the challenges of the Internet with a dream of putting their mark in this highly congested Web 2.0 world.

As a struggling blogger with high hopes of getting into the middle of action to gain offline presence, this event is something to be part of. Adsense is still foreign to me and reaching a $100 could take almost forever, affiliate marketing is something I can only thought of earning more than cost-per-click ads but the chances are down slope while link popularity and web site traffic is still a work in progress.

I’m not alone in the same situation but to be part of the upcoming SEMCON could go a long way. I may or may not be able to attend the event because I’m only vying for the free tickets which I hope I could win. If you want to take a stab at this chance, head on to Yugatech’s blog post Free Passes to SemCon 2009 or visit IMVSolutions.com for more information.

Update: This post didn’t win the taste of the organizers maybe because I’m not into the Search Engine Marketing Business and secondly, I’m not a famous blogger locally and lastly because I didn’t have my post optimized for Google. I’m not really expecting to win, I’m just here to spread the word.

Veoh-ize Your Weekend Online Movie Viewing Habits

September 14, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

As an online movie buff, I normally spend the weekend watching online movies on free websites. For those of you who might have missed, here again is my post entitled, Ten Most Admired Websites to Watch Online Movies for Free.

This subsequent post however is something I cannot consider a sequel but perhaps a great tip that I could share. If you have visited some of the online movie sites I recommended, some of the links to the videos are hosted on Veoh.

Veoh is an independent Internet Television Broadcasting System founded by Dmitry Shapiro in 2004. Veoh functions as a peer-to-peer distribution network with technology relying on the Internet with broadcast quality video content similar to Fancast but slightly different from DailyMotion and YouTube.

Whenever you encounter a movie link redirecting to Veoh, the player window normally shows just a five minute preview and right below is a message encouraging you to download the Veoh Video Compass and Web Player so you can watch the full length video. Once you completed the download and activated the player, all you need to do is refresh the page and voila! You can now enjoy the full length video be it a three hour movie!

Veoh Video Compass

Veoh Video Compass

The Veoh Video Compass allows seemless browsing of videos on the internet as you search by providing related video clip suggestions based on your search terms (works well with Firefox and Internet Explorer).

Veoh Web Player

Veoh Web Player

Once you’re able to choose the video, the Veoh Web Player then plays it in full, no account necessary and works on all browsers. For best results, set the Veoh Web Player to run at setup. You can visit Veoh.com anytime without having to register, simply watch and click.

If you’re not yet on Veoh, you’re missing out all the fun! It’s time for my pop corn. Ciao!

Network Fax: Utilizing Email Capabilities without the Bulky Machine

September 13, 2009 | By | 7 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Would you like to receive faxed documents through your email client? If your answer is yes, then better read the rest of this post.

I’ve once talked about this system because I find this very robust. I even have one for myself on a free service so my account is limited to just receiving faxes.

Utilizing Network Fax systems have a lot of advantages mainly because it saves a lot on paper making your company environmentally friendly while at the same time increasing productivity. Network Fax systems provide the ability to send, receive, print, archive, and track incoming and outgoing fax documents as easy as handling an email.

It makes use of the network fax software that integrates with email clients such as Outlook, GroupWise and virtually any SMTP mail server with the addition of scan to fax functionality.

Most of these types of service are subscription based but considering the reduced cost on fax paper and machine maintenance that you can save plus the benefits of an improved communication network minus the frustration normally associated with traditional faxing; I think it’s worth the investment.

The benefits of implementing a network fax system can be irresistible however it’s still advisable to weigh your options so you can decide if this is for you.

The Benefits of Feedback Systems

September 11, 2009 | By | 9 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

I genuinely love feedbacks. Feedback systems and feedback forms on websites or blogs normally gives me an impression that somebody is willing to lend an ear.

Some months ago, I embraced the Kampyle feedback system. I thought it would be beneficial to know what my readers think of this site and its contents.

The results are good. Getting an average of 4.0 out of 5 (with 28 random feedbacks generated) and slightly beating the global average (from all Kampyle users) of 3.9 is already an accomplishment.

Yesterday, I’ve read a feedback generated by Kampyle stating annoyance about the in-page popup windows on this blog. The reader could be referring to either my TweetBoard app, Olark chat window or Skribit suggestions tab. If it wasn’t with my Kampyle feedback form, I wouldn’t have known.

The in-page popup windows I previously integrated are just one of the many experiments I’ve done and it clearly showed that someone or somebody who may not have the time to leave their feedback find it terrible in that sense so I decided to remove all three—Olark chat, Skribit including Kampyle with the exception of TweetBoard because I find it very useful whenever I interact with my Twitter followers. Skribit on the other hand doesn’t give me much feedback so I let go. I removed Kampyle as well for the meantime. I find it obtrusive sometimes whenever I review my blog posts then all the while it pops. I still have the toolbar top slider thou which I don’t think interferes with the page.

These are the little reductions I’ve made with this blog. Hopefully, I could find some other ways to gather reader feedback in a non-obtrusive way. Now, I’m thinking about integrating a star-rating plugin for the posts, what do you think?

Sometimes it pays to experiment once in a while but the moment you get a sour feedback, then that’s the time to think things over and start taking action.

Keywordluv WordPress Plugin and Commenting On Do Follow Blogs

September 9, 2009 | By | 43 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

The first thing I would like mention on this post is to give thanks to all of you, readers of Software Critics. As you all know, I’ve just switched this blog to dofollow a few weeks back and the results are amazing. Comment numbers really increased as well as visitors.

There’s one guy on the web that I’d really like to thank because he influenced me in some way to switch my blog to dofollow not because he convinced me or something but because he has shown credibility and I admire him for his straight-forward and rather unique style of writing and he’s being an advocate of dofollow blogs made be decide to do the same and he’s no other than John Sullivan of Potpolitics.com, my first blogging friend.

Potpolitics.com was the first blog I’ve ever written a guest post on. My guest post was entitled, Four Points to Guilt-Free Blogging.

WordPress by default places nofollow attribute to its comments and thereby not giving any link juice to commenter’s URL or website which I think is not fair. Google as we all know gives credit to link juice pass-on from one site to another as a vote provided that site is trusted by Google. It’s not all about the number of sites that link to you that increases page rank but the higher the reputation of the site that links to you.

As Google works against page rank sculpting, whether a rel=”nofollow” attribute is placed on a link, they will still follow the link. So, why would I not reward my readers for their effort in leaving comments to this blog? I just wanted to play fair with everybody.

Since this blog is already dofollow, from now on I’ll also be embracing the Keywordluv plugin by Stephen Cronin.

Here’s how it works,

Commentators can be rewarded by separating their name from their keywords in the link to their website, giving them improved anchor text. To do this, if you enter “YOURName@Custom WordPress Plugins” in the Name field, your comment will have:

YOURName from Dofollow WordPress Plugins Says:”
rather than:
YOURName@Dofollow WordPress Plugins Says:”

If you don’t enter the @ symbol, the anchor text will simply display as normal.

How to fill-out comment form on Keywordluv enabled blogs

How to fill-out comment form on Keywordluv enabled blogs

Again, thank you to all my readers and my blogging friends and I hope this little act of kindness could go along way. Please be reminded that I still moderate comments so take a plunge into the discussion by making it relevant.

Updated: 24June2010

Removal of Keywordluv WordPress Plugin

If you came into this post thinking that you can use your precious keywords in the comment field, I’m sorry but this plugin has long been removed due to excessive keyword abuse. Please refer to the comment policy in place. Thank you.

Ever Heard of Dot LIC File Extension?

September 8, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Dealing with various types of software everyday definitely exposed me to many different types of files and its corresponding extensions.

Today, let me introduce you to something new which will give you an idea how sharewares and other commercial software programs use file extensions for their licenses.

Most of us who uses licensed software may not be aware that the moment we register the software we bought to the manufacturer, a .lic file extension is created which contains all the registration information. File extensions ending in .lic are sometimes written in text file but may also be encrypted.

Various programs use this file extension so the best way to recognize them is to determine their location including the date and time it was made in order to track which programs were running when the file was written.

Aside from distinguishing dot lic files as software licenses, the same extension is also used to designate Borland license files, ESET NOD32 Antivirus license files, FLEXnet Manager license files, and PETRA Log Image Calibration files.

If you ever run into LIC files, don’t fret because you only need to open it with your text editor like Notepad, WordPad or any third party text editor and you’re good to go.

Software to Protect Laptops from Being Stolen

September 5, 2009 | By | 9 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

What would you do if your laptop gets stolen?
A. Call for help and find out who took it.
B. Forget it, move on and just buy something new.
C. I don’t know. I have no idea.

It seems like a difficult question to ask but what if it happens to you? The first option is a natural response. Who would ever want somebody to just simply get away from stealing another’s property?

The second option is something I’ve made up but I’m not really sure if it’s going to be the initial reaction of anybody who’ll be in that situation. What do you think?

For the last option, I would not blame anybody who’ll be in the same state. It would be shocking at first but you don’t have to be in a helpless situation. There’s free software that is designed to protect laptops from being stolen.

LAlarm

LAlarm

LAlarm, free laptop alarm security software designed to safeguard laptops from being stolen. LAlarm buzzes an alarm whenever a laptop is in danger of being stolen or losing data. It can even recover and destroy data if the laptop is stolen.

An alarm is normally triggered whenever the AC power cord from a locked laptop is removed. Ideal for laptops left unattended in an unsafe place for a particular time period.

LAlarm protects sensitive data in a laptop by permanently destroying all its data with the option of having all its data emailed to the owner even before it’s destroyed and it can also be used to wipe out all its data at the end of laptop lifecycle. It can also trigger the alarm if the laptop is placed outside an acceptable perimeter.

Among the many features of the software include laptop damage prevention due to sudden power loss, prevents data loss for both physical and logical disk problems, laptop failure prevention by detecting signs of HDD deterioration and recommends HDD replacement at an early stage, plus the ability to send SMS or email to mobile phones whenever an alarm goes off or when a data destruction is completed.

For technical concerns about the software, don’t hesitate to contact the developer’s site. This software was personally suggested by Mr. James Lee, General Manager at LAlarm (via contact us) and this post was written in gratis as a friendly response.

Say Goodbye to Firefox Slowdowns with SpeedyFox

September 4, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Overtime, your Firefox browser can become utterly slow because of the fragmentation of databases. The more add-ons, bookmarks, plugins and themes you add, the slower it loads at start-up and the slower it renders browsing histories up to the point that it freezes, or even worse, it crashes!

I’m telling you this by experience, it’s a pain when you’re working on the internet then all of a sudden the browser window gets stuck and all that you can do is refresh or even force refresh (CTRL+F5) the page or worse, close the application and start whatever you’re working on all over again.

Speedyfox User Interface

Speedyfox User Interface

Would it be nice if there’s a program that would make your Firefox browser faster than before without any necessary tweaking? I’m sure you’ll be more than glad to have one. Well, you certainly don’t need to go any further because I just might have what you’re looking for.

Speedyfox icon

Speedyfox icon

SpeedyFox is a tiny software utility that optimizes Firefox speed like it used to. The program actually defrag Firefox’s SQLITE databases to achieve faster loading at start-up, faster rendering of webpages, browsing histories and performing with cookies incredibly faster that it seemed like a fresh install.

SpeedyFox auto detects your Firefox default profile but in case you maintain multiple profiles, you can set which one you’d like to tweak. Optimizing your profile is recommended to be done at least once in 1-2 weeks.

So, who would say you’re using Firefox 3.5.2? That version alone won’t make any difference but using SpeedyFox (now version 1.1) along with Firefox 3.0.13 (which is what I’m currently using) could make up a great duo! Believe me, it’s worth the try.

Get More Personalized With Your Postcards

September 4, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Most people if you may ask all about postcards, they would say that it’s just a matter of buying them from your local card shop and writing it over with nice thoughts about how you miss someone you hold so dear.

Well, maybe that was just too plain and traditional or should I say, a thing of the past because I’ve just come across 123print.co.uk—an online card shop that allows you to custom print postcards exactly like you had them designed.

The user interface of the design menu alone could get you hooked into it plus you’ll get thousands of wonderful design patterns to work on so you’ll never be lost and run out of ideas. So what are you waiting for? Unleash your creativity and take a plunge into a brand new post card shopping experience.

A Quick Look at IncrediMail

September 3, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Email client users like me often find ways to enhance my email experience. Well, I’m not that so hard to please since I have long been using Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird with the latter being my main email client for this blog.

I’m not saying that there’s nothing special about the email clients I’ve mentioned above however if you are somebody who’s looking for variety and fun. I might as well recommend something that you’ll definitely get hook into.

Incredimail Installation Setup

Incredimail Installation Setup

I’m taking about IncrediMail, a nifty and fun-filled email client with options similar to Outlook Express but much more special in so many ways. Among the many irresistible features that you’ll get is a wide array of extra functionalities like you wouldn’t get from a typical email client such as 3D animated menus, images, email backgrounds, effects, sounds, e-cards and special fonts.

Incredimail User Interface

Incredimail User Interface

It’s like an email application wrapped in awesomeness. You’ll also get incredible email notifier (which you can change depending on your liking) that will appear on your screen every time you’ll receive an email. Not only that, you can even create a personalized signature to include in your email plus the ability to make searches on the web via the MyStart menu (powered by Google), play free online game via IncrediGames, manage your photos with PhotoJoy and grab Hiyo—an instant messenger enhancer or add-on which contains loads of fun emoticons and graphics similar to SweetIM.

IncrediMail indeed is very fancy and with its so many features, anyone with a POP3 email account would definitely grab the opportunity to try it out or might even get hooked into it. The email client does have a built-in spam protection called Junk Filter Plus but unfortunately, it wasn’t for free however I’m afraid that most POP3 email providers have email protection so I don’t think purchasing a year subscription of it is necessary.

You can also upgrade to IncrediMail Premium but if you’re into the free stuff, then the free version is good for you. Well, the free version is already nice that I’d settle for it in the meantime. Just a few reminders though, not all the great stuff is for free so you’ll have to expect that some ads will be displayed in your email client including promotional links which can be found at the bottom of your outgoing emails.

This is a pretty nifty program for an email client but you have to consider that if you are to use this for business purposes, I’m afraid that it may not be as formal (unless you use the premium version) than what you might expect compared to other most commonly used email clients but this email program really out smarts other email softwares of its kind so it’s still worth trying out.

ATM Card Skimming and PIN Capturing Scams Exposed

September 1, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Most of us may not be aware that at some point when we always thought that withdrawing cash from ATMs guarantee us full security then better think again.

As criminals continue to lurk in our society, we cannot remain complacent because there are variety of ways that these bad guys can get on our way especially with our valued resources and confidential information.

If you often find yourself withdrawing cash from an ATM  or Automated Teller Machine, then better read this post so it can help you understand how your valuable information and hardly earned cash can be stolen in a snap. The presentation that you’ll be reading below is courtesy of Commonwealth Bank and was prepared by Simon Grubisic.

Overall, it pays to be vigilant. Being extra careful can actually fight ATM Card skimmers. Have you been a victim yourself?