Digressions Geek

I can’t believe this piece is 11 years old. Oh how the world has changed.

Me: “Mobile Internet.” USD 140 laptops. HSDPA. Oh how the world has changed. 2006 was the wild west of mobile — the iPhone was new and Internet on your phone was a novelty. Oh the places we will go…

Publication: Mobile Philippines August 2006
Section: Columns
Column title: The prodigal screen protector and other bedtime stories

Mobile Internet? Yes, literally!

Well, the “Internet bus” will make waves, in my humble opinion, if it is used as a social development tool rather than for pure profit.

There is an ongoing project in Australia called StreetNet. This involves a huge bus, a dozen or so laptops hooked up inside, and wireless access eminating from a point of origin. The bus roams the streets of Sydney from 4 P.M. to midnight, helping the homeless keep in touch with the ever-changing rudiments of technology. How, you say? Because of their life circumstance, the less fortunate have it bad (yes, even in a place like Australia) when it comes to enjoying the basic leisure even modest households can enjoy, such as access to the Internet. I was looking over the project description: the cost of a huge van and infrastructure amounts to USD$100,000.00. Factors to consider are rising prices of gas, maintenance costs, and the availability of a wireless infrastructure in the area, among others.

Back here in the Philippines, there have been efforts to duplicate the “Internet bus” model. Remember back in the 80s when the Love Bus made waves because of its air conditioning? Well, the “Internet bus” will make waves, in my humble opinion, if it is used as a social development tool rather than for pure profit.

For one thing, driving around a huge bus with Net access in the city will do nothing more than contribute to the traffic and pollution. For something like this to unleash its full potential, the following things could be taken into consideration:

First. The target market should be the rural areas that cannot afford to have Internet access due to the lack of infrastructure. And speaking of infrastructure, a lot of households in the rural farms of Batangas can actually afford to buy computers but cannot afford to maintain them due to leaks and other weather intrusions. Having a one-stop shop “iBus” kills two birds with one stone.

Second. The Philippines is actually the first Asian country to successfully launch HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) commercially. Known as 3.5G, HSDPA was implemented by Globe last month on its networks, providing very fast data access wirelessly. This makes the mobile Internet café concept much more feasible.

Third. What about cost? Well, I’m no business junkie, but I believe projects like these should fall under a corporation’s CSR division or Foundation where overhead costs are shouldered by sponsorships and donations that should at least break even in the long run. The objective: the goal isn’t profit, but uplifting the technology literacy level of those who cannot afford due to circumstance.

The mobile Internet café is probably the most ideal solution for developing countries. I believe there are several organizations and corporations working together to bring the cheapest laptop or PC to the market. You have IBM, Intel, Microsoft and AMD, among others, plus Negroponte’s foundation that aims to bring the US$140.00 laptop to the masses. But once you bring these to them, what next? Will they actually use them? Will they just sell them or rent these out? I trust the entrepreneurial drive of most people below the hamburger index, and they will do almost anything to make money. The last thing they need is a computer. With the contained environment of the “iBus,” they can be taught, on a purely voluntary basis, about taking the next step in upgrading their lives.

Mostly Everything

Free tickets and a ‘Thank You’ to my readers!

True Faith belting it out. A glimpse of what’s in store on October 20

Some bloggers are giving away tickets for the Toblerone Thank You Day concert at the Mall of Asia. I recently wrote about how October 20 has been declared National Thank You Day, with Manila being the Thank You capital in the Philippines.

I have 300 tickets to the concert this coming October 20 at the Mall of Asia. Bands include (but are not limited to) Cynthia Alexander, Reggae Mistress, Stone Free, Salindiwa, Mozzie and The Dawn!

To claim your free ticket, all you need to do is leave a comment expressing your desire to come. As an added bonus, Toblerone will be giving a special prize to the commenter who posts the most creative way of saying THANK YOU 🙂

After you have left a comment, you will be contacted by Alma. If you wish to reach her to claim your tickets ahead of time, you may do so by texting her at 09175344624 or emailing thankyoudayphilippines at gmail dot com. See you there!

Mostly Everything

Blogger, remember your roots

Every so often it would be good to reflect on your roots as a blogger and what got you started with writing in the first place. Doing this can help put some perspective in your overall goal of blogging whether it be for fun, for profit or for sharing things with others.

Remembering your roots can also help you avoid unnecessary conflict in the future as it puts a lot of things in perspective. I’d like to share you my roots:

Mostly Everything

Passing On The Torch

My first encounter with WordPress with with a humble blog at the time with about 400 unique visitors a day. Back then, we – I say we because there was Howard, Adel, Poch, Jason, Jim, Art and myself with a few guests here and there started what is known today as the Mobile Philippines blog, a flagship blog that has formed part of the stable of the Hinge-Inquirer Publications blog network.


Most, if not all of the original team have moved on in their respective industries. Some still work for the publishing company while others, like me are involved with other projects be it the academe, new media, retail, etc. But that’s life ladies and gents, so it is time to pass on the torch to passionate folk who want to make a name for themselves in the Philippine blogosphere. I got an email from Eva and Upper, who are the “two pillars” of the technology editorial team, issuing out a call for bloggers for Mobile.

The old template was designed by Gary Mercado back in 2004. The 2006 portal-like template was enhanced by Gail Villanueva and now, Mobile has just renovated again. The Mobile blog is a supplement to Mobile Philippines, one of the top 10 technology magazines in the country based on a recent Synnovate Survey.

Mobile is a “well placed” blog in the sense that its traffic has been growing and your involvement with the staff brings you up to date with the latest in Philippine technology, especially cellphones. The site has a PR of 5. It also has a permanent link to the country’s number one news website, Huge traffic value here.

If you’re interested, I would suggest sending an email to Upper at upperviceo at gmail dot com as I’m not privy to the full details. 🙂

Mostly Everything

The good old days of MPH TV


Not a lot of you may know this but MPH, the magazine that is now known as Mobile Philippines used to have a television show many many months ago. We had a couple of episodes that were produced by Poch, Ideal Minds and the staff of Hinge Media Inc (now known as Hinge-Inquirer Publications). We went off the air after a few episodes because we needed to find a better time slot. The show aired (let’s see if I remember this right) on channel 5 at 1PM every Saturday. This was a little scary too, since that time slot was dominated by the variety shows.


In any case, the show was hosted by the trio composed of Jaymee Joaquin, Franco Mabanta and Paolo Soler. There were times when some of the editors would guest appear to talk about some of the latest gadgets out in the market and we would do this in Digital Walker in Parksquare 1.


So, for your enjoyment, the staff of Mobile Philippines has uploaded the first three episodes of MPH TV. Download and enjoy!