Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PATH: You Only Have 50 or Less True Friends

In a way, former ex-Facebook employee Dave Morin, makes a lot of sense.

He says that based on research (what research, it doesn't say), a person cannot truly be connected with more than 50 friends all at once, and interact meaningfully with 150 people on a social network. What happens, let's say in the obvious example Facebook, is some sort of a vain self-broadcast or self-promotion that doesn't really matter to most people. In fact, you probably don't know most of the people in your network.

That's why he created PATH. PATH is an app-based social network and photo sharing site which allows you to connect with only 50 people or less, and interact with people who really matter to you. This is where you can really talk about a problem at work, or a desperate situation you are having at home. You can post anything knowing that you won't be stalked by an unknown person, or be self-conscious. With PATH, you will know that whatever comment or post a contact makes, it will matter.

I have a pretty strong feeling that this won't turn into a behemoth like Facebook, since people and businesses thrive on anonymous people - and PATH is a Facebook app. There are already hundreds of thousands of users on PATH, but nowhere near the size of Facebook. But there will be some people who would create an account, and choose 50 friends who really matter.

I noticed that it asks for your entire profile information from Facebook.

I'm trying it out. Maybe you should give it a whirl, and take a break from the anonymity and bombardment of meaningless posts.

My Little Van Gogh Teaches Me

Today, I saw my son painting happily away without a care in the world. I asked him playfully to look at the camera - he looks up and gives me a little smile of contentment, probably thinking, "It doesn't matter if my painting looks like a mess, what matters is I'm painting, and I'm loving it." Sometimes I wish I could experience the "age of discoveries" again, the time when the simple things let you just sit down and enjoy the rush. In our current world of busyness and stress, we tend to forget and focus on building our wealth and reputation - when the wealth already sits right here on our throne, ourselves. With all our years of experience, we still learn most about life by observing how our children begin theirs.

I love you, Gabby. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Harvest Time in the Congo: Gorilla Mucus Hair Gel

While walking around the mall after work today, I saw a bottle through the window of a store (name withheld). Never heard of it before, but it's called the MOCO DE GORILA GEL.

Seriously, if you are going to make packaging for hair gel, do you really have to put a gorilla with snot or mucus streaming out of its nose? With a cartoon bubble that says "SNOTT GORILA GEL"? And then put "strong hold" at the bottom? And make it dominantly green in color? Well I know it's not made of Gorilla snot, so maybe it's just one of those metaphors saying that their gel is as sticky as a gorilla's mucus. I guess they are selling millions with this brand, and just have to eat my blog.

I went inside, and yes, an orange variant. Yipee.

Go grab yourself a Gorilla snot hair gel today. Buy it from this guy.

Here's the link, knock yourself out.  http://www.mocodegorila.net/

Why the Harana is Still Alive Today

As I'm writing this blog, I'm watching a harana special feature on iJuander, GMA NEWS TV.

I've had this idea for a long time, so one day, I just decided I would make a move.  It just took a two-sentence verbal exchange between me and my partner (abridged version) :

"Why don't we do this?"
"Let's do it."

That was when Harana.ph was born. The concept is simple. Instead of sending your loved ones the usual gifts (flowers, chocolates, cakes, perfumes..etc), you can go to our website and actually send a serenade, right to their doorstep, wherever they are in the country (well, almost) and abroad. Sounds like a logistical nightmare? Well, we thought so too at first. But let me tell you, when you are convinced you've got a winner, you don't stop until you see it happen before your very eyes. We don't just send any self-proclaimed singer just like the singing telegrams you see in the movies. We send real professional and seasoned artists/singers, even recording artists, with a guitarist, and a team of "surprise coordinators" to makes sure your loved ones feel loved. And the best part is, we document the whole thing on digital camera, and send you the video, all edited. Instead of sending a gift that can be consumes, you can send them something they can keep as a memory. We reserve the restaurant, read the love letter, set up the room with flowers, blindfold the girl...whatever you tell us to do. If you don't have any ideas, well, we have the creative team to help you set up the surprise of a lifetime.

We were surprised to see that people from all walks of life were contacting us, asking our help on how to propose to their girlfriends, how to win back an ex, surprise their wives with a yacht ride, or make their mothers feel special on their birthday. We've even sang in a wake, just so that a longing daughter could send a special goodbye to a mother that has passed away.

Why is the harana still alive today? Because it is in the nature of the Filipino to be romantic, to feel good whenever they make friends and families happy, to surprise and to love. And because I believe that we have the team, the concept and the passion to keep this pinoy tradition alive. I hope to share this beautiful tradition to the rest of the world.

You have to see it for yourself to understand what we do. Here are some of our clients' videos:

And also, here was our feature on Kabuhayang Swak na Swak:

If you would like to view more videos, just visit http://www.facebook.com/haranaph?sk=app_2392950137 or you can just go to http://www.harana.ph.

To Buy or Not to Buy? the iPAD.

Being an Apple fan, I will try not to be biased in this blog. Please read also http://technoodling.net/life-with-the-ipad-part-1-how-useful-is-it/ where I put this modified post as a comment.

You see, Steve Jobs created his products in such a way that even if you don't need it, you want to but it. It's an aspirational product, designed to be irresistible and to make you want to save money for it (or spend what you don't have). That's why Apple has actually become the most valuable brand in the world. I own a Macbook Pro, and I do a lot of technical and document work on it. Can I also do the same amount of work on the Windows notebook? Yes I could. But with the Macbook Pro, somehow, I'm more inspired to work. Maybe it's the design, the quality, the brand or maybe it crashes less in my experience. That makes a hell of a difference.

About the iPAD, well, there are times when I only bring it instead of my laptop, for quick client Powerpoint presentations or when I'm just hanging out in the mall waiting for the ladies to come out of Forever 21. I realized that with the iPAD, I can quickly boot up, bring up the browser or the photos, and show people on the spot with a decent screen size. And with the new camera and Facetime app for iPAD2, it's fun. My son loves the Photobooth app also on the iPAD. I recently also found out that I can actually access our Windows servers via the Remote Desktop Client for the iPad, which is pretty cool. The iPad is also so user-friendly, my parents use it already as part of their daily routine. With the iPAD, the experience is just different.

It's not for everybody though. Some people will feel that it's really just for surfing, emailing, reading books and other simple basic stuff. If you already have a laptop and a mobile device like the iPHONE, the iPAD may seem a little redundant. If you are someone who does heavy work and needs really complex applications, then you may find the iPAD useless.

 Some of the things the iPAD CANNOT do.

- Play FLASH files 
- Call friends as a mobile phone
- Heavy applications for blogging, document writing, programming or graphic design

You only purchase the iPad depending on your purpose, and there are a lot of applications/accessories that can make it into a Netbook replacement. Here are some suggestions:

http://www.dataviz.com/products/documentstogo/iphone/index.html?device_id=735) for Word,Excel, Powerpoint, Email attachments viewing/updating 

https://www.evernote.com/) for note taking (synchs with Macbook/iPhone and other mobile devices)

RDC LITE (Remote desktop application that allows you to access Windows servers with your iPad)

OMNIGRAFFLE (for quick sketches and ideas)

GOODREADER - allows you read a whole range of document types

ZAGGMATE - Bluetooth keyboard turning your iPad into an instant netbook, for blogging and typing up documents. Convenient enough because it integrates the casing as well.

So should you buy the iPad? Here's a quick guide according to me, so you don't have to take my word for it:

You want to give it as a gift, and get plus pogi points (make sure put a nice message on the wallpaper) - YES
If you have a lot of extra cash, and you just want a new toy - YES
If you don't have extra cash, and you just want a new toy - NO

If it will be your first time to use the Internet, or giving it to someone who is not tech savvy- YES
If you want to have a gadget to keep your son busy (and learn while he's at it) while you are doing something important- YES
If you want a net book replacement, and you just do surfing, play games, emailing, reading books, basic stuff - YES
If you want a net book replacement, and you do heavy blogging work, programming, graphics design..etc - NO
If you want a portable,fast booting support to your laptop (Heavy work-Laptop, Presentation/Email/Surf/Movies
-iPAD), and not a replacement - YES
If you just want an additional FUN product/gadget - YES

Boy of the 80's: Part Three

This is Part Three of a series of blog posts, where I write about items that bring me back to my childhood.

PART 1: http://thelifeoverdose.blogspot.com/2011/05/boy-of-80s-part-one.html
PART 2: http://thelifeoverdose.blogspot.com/2011/05/boy-of-80s-part-two.html

Brain Twister - A lot of us had this very yellow puzzle set that you buy in bookstores. It comes with four shapes, and you try to copy the images on the back of the cardboard box. It think they are still selling this up to now.

Childcraft books - If you've ever used Childcraft for your research in school, then you must be a kid of the 80's! Usually, these books are bundled together with World Book Encyclopedia. Right now, you can probably find them in houses already black and dirty, thanks to the Internet.

Brown Cow Chocolate syrup - Have you ever used Brown Cow to turn your milk into Chocolate milk?  Or pour it on top of ice cream? Yummy!

Apple IIc - Ah our very first computer, the Apple IIc. With a black screen and green text, I started to learn computer stuff early using this computer. I still have my unit with me, but I don't think anyone will be able to fix it. For now, it's a museum piece.

SongHits/Jingle Magazine - Really popular with the kids and teens during the 80's, if you wanted to know the lyrics of certain songs. Php15.00 only per magazine.

Magnolia Glass bottles - Magnolia chocolate drink used to be in glass bottles, which eventually becomes water pitchers in the refrigerator.

Pencil Cases with Compartments - So are you the kid that has the coolest multi-compartment pencil case in class? Eraser holder, pen holder, pencil sharpener, magnifying glass that pops out....i love the 80's.

Eraser Collection - I'm guilty of collecting different erasers. I have no idea why it became so popular, but you've got erasers of different shapes, sizes, design... When you go out of the country, you come home with new erasers.

Haw Flakes - Sweet, salty and sour in one circle-shaped thing that you pretended to be holy communion when you were a kid. 

Intermediate Pad - Did you ever ask your seatmate for one-fourth, one-half crosswise, or one whole intermediate pad if a quiz is announced?

Here is part four of this series of blog posts where I enumerate stuff that brings me back to my childhood days.

Plastic Balloon - Get a small amount of gasoline smelling substance from the tube using the small white stick, twirl it around your mouth for some saliva coating, then blow at the end of the stick. Then you get a thin transparent balloon that keeps getting holes in them. You just have to stick your tongue in the hole, make a popping sound, then blow, seal with lips.  

Image captured from http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2556/3784314293_704ba40c76.jpg

To be continued...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Traffic is getting worse. JetPack anyone?

As I was patiently waiting at Figaro for the ladies to emerge from the infamous Forever 21 store in SM Megamall, with my son sleeping beside me (husbands are miraculously transformed into babysitters when waiting outside Forever 21) and an iPad2 that has traitorously lost its juice, I came across a very interesting advertorial on the last page of the Philippine Tatler, February 2011 issue.

Get this - they are now selling jetpacks (yes, Jetsons-Rocketeer-Ironman type jetpacks) to anyone with the money to burn. What the?? Sorry if everybody else knew this, and I didn't. I never realized that I would ever live to witness these futuristic things being sold commercially just like any Honda, Mitsubishi or Toyota. It's called the MARTIN AIRCRAFT JETPACK. According to the article, you could stay airborne for about 30 minutes, with speeds up to 100 km/h. You would have to be between 55 and 105 kg to be able to fly this thing (thank goodness, I'm still within the jetpack obesity index). However, if you are looking for a vehicle that can let you laugh at drivers stuck in traffic below, you would have to wait a little longer. You can only fly this jetpack within non-urban airspace. 

Hello, your jetpack looks like I have refrigerators on my back. I'll wait for the backpack edition. It doesn't look cool enough yet to fetch your date with. What about spontaneous combustion? or angry birds? And another thing, it costs USD 86,000. Thank you, but I'll just use the MRT.

For those who found this interesting just like I did, you can watch it in action here:

If you are seriously considering buying one, then go to this link (http://martinjetpack.com/)  and eat your heart out.

Boy of the 80's: PART TWO

This is part two of Boy of the 80's blog entry, where I make a trip down memory lane. These are things, events, shows, or people that remind me of my childhood days, where things seem a lot simpler. You may have your own, so let me know.

For Part One, you can go to this entry: http://thelifeoverdose.blogspot.com/2011/05/boy-of-80s-part-one.html

BETAMAX - We all went through with this, didn't we? But some went straight to VHS, or even Laser Disc. I remember going to the 3rd floor of Virra mall to browse through titles of Betamax tapes, and rent them for 3 days. I had a lot of overdue tapes, but if you establish a relationship with the cashier lady, she'll waive the overdue fees. To rewind the BETAMAX, you would need the fast REWINDER or just use your BETAMAX player.

Transformers Toys  (among others) - My mom first bought my first Transformer at Christmas when I was a kid. It was an Optimus Prime. Of course, there was G.I. JOE, He-Man and Thundercats action figures. I regret not keeping those toys, they're probably worth a fortune now.

Donkey Kong Scratch game - Did you ever play this in your early elementary years? You scratch off the circles to get points. Brings back a lot of memories. They sell this outside our school, I used to buy it before going home.

Choose your Own Adventure Books and Hardy Boys - Where did all of my CYOA books go? I used to have tons of these, probably got donated somewhere along the timeline. I enjoyed reading these books where you choose which page to go to, and the endings are always different. A lot of guys also read the Hardy Boys collection.

Frogger table top game - Did anyone play this when they were young? Using a small joystick, you control a frog through cars and other obstacles. Simple but fun. If anyone still, has a working model of this, let me know. 

McDonald's Give-aways (Pencil sharpener and eraser) - Classic! I think every house had this pencil sharpener in the shape of Ronald McDonald's head. 

Paint with Water books - Do remember these coloring books where you just put water on your paintbrush, and colors appear magically? I had the Go-Bots one. I forgot the other titles though, let me search for them.

Bensia Pencils - Do you remember using them in school? You put finished pencil in the end, push it up, and new sharpened pencil pops up on top. Are they still selling these?

Connect Four Game - Used to play this with my neighbor cousins a lot. You drop coin type objects until you can connect four of the same color. 

Ring Pops and Melody Pop -  You wear 'em and you suck on 'em, just like a big ruby ring. You suck 'em, then you whistle on 'em. I had a lot of these as a kid. 

Plastic Parachute - Little toy soldiers, when thrown in the air, opens up a plastic parachute, and it slowly lands on the ground.

Flying "T" toy - I remember this toy very well. You insert that long plastic thing with the jagged teeth, and when you pull it, it releases the circular object like a helicopter. You had to pull hard though.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Awesomeness: Kung Fu Panda 2

My family and I watched Kung Fu Panda 2 today at Robinson's Galleria, and I have one word that sums up my review : Awesomeness! 

Enjoyed it from start to finish, laughing every step at the whimsical, happy-go-lucky Po's (Jack Black) wise cracks, nicely timed jokes, and funny naivete. Best efforts were made by the Dreamworks Animation team to retain the "awesomeness" of the first one, but the storyline, I felt, was richer this time (Po's identity crisis, confusion and personal issues).  I went into the theater anticipating a much better sequel, but still, it surpassed my expectations. Funny, playful, cute, charming, action-packed and educational - probably one of the best animated films I've seen. There were even some tear jerking scenes towards the end. Still a lot of "fat" jokes in this sequel, but the power of Po apparently was no longer focused on his big tummy. Oh yeah, you will also see Po as a young, adorable baby panda cub, and if you are a girl, well, I can assure you, you will probably squeal and go look for a panda stuffed toy after the movie (just like Shanesse, my niece, who was a few seats away from me). I prefer not to reveal too much on this blog, it's best you go out and watch it yourself.

A movie for the entire family, a recommend Kung Fu Panda 2 to anyone who is not a suicidal and gothic freak who only watches gory films.


My son Gabby and I before the movie.

Boy of the 80's PART ONE.

Ahh...nostalgia. Sometimes, it just hits you when you suddenly hear an 80's tune in the background. Don't you sometimes wish you had the power to turn back time? These are the things that truly throws me back to my past:

The Coca Cola Yoyos - I remember walking into the mall, and watching people in Coke T-shirts do exhibitions with these yoyos. You've also got the Royal, Sprite, Mello Yellow, and the Super Spinner Coke (transparent).  If I remember correctly, they have a version which lights up. The string always gets "buhol". I had a bunch of these. I could even do the "Walk the Dog" and "Round the World" trick. You spin the yoyo to twist the string and maximum "Walk the Dog" time. Couldn't seem to get the "Rock-a-Bye Baby" trick. Did you have this yo-yo too?

Panini Stickers - I had these when I was a kid. You go to a store in Shoppesville to buy a pack of about 6 stickers to fill up your sticker book. I had the "Age of Dinosaurs", "World of Survival" and "Care Bears". A lot of your savings go into buying the stickers, or you let your mom buy them when you go out during the weekends. If you had duplicates, you trade them with your friends who bring their Panini sticker books to school. Hey, these were pretty educational. Learned most of my dinosaurs with these things.

Trump Cards - "A1!" You automatically get his card. I had "Formula 1", Ships, Fighter Planes. We used to play this in grade school. I wonder if they're still around.

Fruit Stripe/Bubble Yum - Most popular gums during our time. Of course, there's Bazooka bubble gum too. If you can still buy these, please let me know.

Game & Watch - Did you get any of the Nintendo Game & Watch titles? I remember OCTOPUS, POPEYE, MICKEY MOUSE and orange Game & Watch DONKEY KONG (opens up into a double screen). I also have the one with the see through display.

Robot Watch - A watch that transforms into a robot! This was the original Transformers. I had these when I was in grade school. I also had the Casio Calculator watch, but I won't put it here, coz I still have one of those!

Ice Candy - Who doesn't remember the artificially sweetened and plastic contained Ice Candy? You buy them in liquid form, freeze them, bite off the flat end and start chewing (or sucking). 

Nintendo Family Computer - If you didn't have this, you can go to Virra Mall and rent it for 20 bucks an hour. Just choose from a list of games (in dot matrix print) and get the cartridge. I used to play "Castlevania" a lot.

TEX Cards - Did you play these with your neighbors outside? You flick them with your fingers, throw them in the air, and see which ones are facing up. You had a stack with the center creasing because of a lot of folding and flicking.

Blank Cassette Tapes - Do you remember trying to fit all the songs into one blank cassette tape (parang various artist), back and forth pa (Side A and Side B).  The 80's piracy movement. May 30, 45, 60 and 90 minutes. Pag sikat ka, there's 120 minutes. To start from the first song on Side B, you have to fast forward Side A all the way to the end.

Chicklets - They used to be in a thin cardboard box in yellow. There were also variations in red (cherry) and the multi-colored ones. I'm not sure if you can still buy them in this packaging.

To be continued in PART TWO.....http://thelifeoverdose.blogspot.com/2011/05/boy-of-80s-part-two.html