Marilag Ang Malaya

Sunday, July 1, 2012

MozCoffee at the Embarcadero

Maray na Aga, Bikol! It's such a great morning in Legazpi City, especially after a good night's sleep on a proper bed. But as with all great mornings, there are great things to do. So off we go to another Mozilla event, just one floor down from the hotel.

As usual, our faithful Bikolano Community Manager met and greeted the participants from Bicol University and the tech community in Legazpi City at the La Mia Tazza Coffee of Embarcadero de Legazpi that overlooks the sea.

After the introductions, we got right into Engagement mode, introducting Mozilla products and projects, left and right, along with the generous demonstrations online and actual. We encouraged them to be web makers as well as to organize their own Mozilla events. Such a great discussion, so little time.

After the MozCoffee, some of the participants helped us find our way around Legazpi City to book our bus tickets back Manila. Such hospitable people. I'm looking forward to the next Bicol event!

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

What a Great Open Web Day at Naga!

Another awesome day was completed today!

We have just finished the first day of the Bicol MozTour--two grueling days of events across two different major cities in two different provices in the picturesque region of Bicol. We travelled to the Heart of Bicol in the dead of the night, some 389 km south of Quezon City.

The first day was held at the Fr. James O'Brien Library of the Ateneo de Naga University in Naga City, Camarines Sur (also known as CamSur). More than fifty attendees flocked to the computer research center of the library to participate in the Open Web Day, jointly organized by the Philippine communities of Mozilla and Wikimedia. As ever, Mozilla Philippines was lead by its ever-vibrant Community Manager Jun Barrun, and the Wikimedia team was lead by Jojit Ballesteros.

Most of the attendees were Library and Information Science students as well as Librarians from the local librarians organization.

The usual format for Open Web Day was followed, with Wikimedia PHL introducing how Wikipedia works, and how to contribute as well as an online workshop where the participants submitted new content to Wikipedia.

After the Wikipedia workshop, Mozilla PHL had its turn to tell the story of Mozilla, our advocacies and our products and projects. Unusual for Jun, he finished his long keynote in half the time he usually takes. Nice!

Next up, Jean Austin Rodriguez introduced the Boot to Gecko project (aka Firefox Mobile OS) along with the demo phone.

Lastly, I was asked to speak on localization. After my talk, I asked the participants to contribute 220 more strings to complete the strings translation. And they finished the translation in less time than I did to finish my talk! Great work, Naga City! :) Now it's up to the reviewers and approvers of the Tagalog translation to finish the job. :)

We capped off the day by traveling another 119 km to Legazpi City for the second leg of the Bicol MozTour.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Massive Firefox for Android Now Available!

Mozilla has just released a massive update to Firefox for Android, reflecting enormous contributions from all across the organization. Firefox for Android is for everyone who loves Firefox on their desktop, but now in their pocket. It is faster than the stock browser that ships with phones and has all the capabilities that our users love about Firefox and is available across lots of flavors of Android.

Firefox for Android continues the tradition of Mozilla to cater to the open web, and is responsive to the needs, choice, and privacy of Internet users.

If you have an Android-powered phone or tablet, get Firefox for Android now. And if you love it, rate it 5 stars on Google Play.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

MozCoffee held at the Stock Exchange

I hosted a small Moz"Coffee" for the Sunwest IT staff on May 31, 2012 at the Country Spice, Philippine Stock Exchange Center in Ortigas, Pasig City.

I've worked with these guys since 2003, and these are hard-core open source advocates, as well as Firefox users. These guys are users of GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X, and normally also use these technologies for their application deployments.

Among the topics that we discussed were the Firefox for Enterprise users, as well as auto-update functionality. Newer versions of Firefox use silent updates that were normally blocked by corporate firewall. Also among the topics were marketing opportunities.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Airport tussle with Public Figures

Columnist Ramon Tulfo figured in a fight against a gang led by showbiz couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto at the NAIA Terminal 3 yesterday. Several news reports point to the said altercation can be found online with the social networks were spewing vitrioil against both camps.

I'll try not to touch on the irrelevant facts of the case, as you can learn about them on the news reports, but I'd like to express my vehement opinion against the couple. I believe that Tulfo was merely doing his job as a journalist in recording Claudine's tirade against the Cebu Pacific. Whether Tulfo was on his vacation or not, a journalists job begins when something interesting is happenning. Something interesting turned out to be newsworthy indeed!

I don't believe Santiagos were right on ganging up on the man. Firstly, their defense about privacy doesn't hold any water. They are public figures, they are in a public place, and there were other people involved, in this case, employees of the public transport company. In other words, they were pretty much fair game at that time. Now, if they had really wanted privacy, they should have chartered a private plane.

Secondly, the man is old and alone. There were six or so young people in Raymart's group. You can almost see the social injustice of it all. When the tussle started, the guards restrained the old man, and nobody restrained the young people. (Damned useless guards. On the video, you can see one guard who was just standing.)

The news as of this writing is that both camps are filing charges against each other. But all these could have been avoided if we learned that journalists are essential to us as a society. Please, don't shoot the messenger, especially the journalists. Sila po ang nagrereport ng mga makabuluhan na balita. Otherwise, we'll all be reading blind items. Kahit nga mga showbiz reporters, hindi ginagalang ng mga nasa showbiz. Kaya rin siguro, ganun na lang ang trato ng mag-asawa kay Mon Tulfo. I'd like to not compare this incident with the Maguindanao Massacre, but if you analyze the root of it all, isa lang kasi makikita mo: that some parties don't want the truth to come out. There is a sub-culture among the rich and famous to cover up the truth, or to twist it if it does not suit their agenda. This is a culture that we, ordinary Filipinos, should not tolerate. The press is not to be oppressed. Stop the violence against journalists and bloggers NOW.

Nota Bene: Some people have noted that Mon Tulfo is an asshole. A word of advice to the naive: it's not illegal to be an asshole, both on or off the Internet, but it's illegal to throw punches and false statements.

Monday, April 2, 2012

TRO defy, Nuns justify

I've been following the case of the 5 students of STC Cebu whose pictures of them in bikini were the subject of much controversy in the media. The case involves quite a backward take on morality and child rearing. Lots of tweets are on it, lots of blog posts, lots of drama, religious jihad, and stuff like that on the comments and the sidelines.

At first, it was STC who held the moral authority as the children indeed violated the rules found in their Handbook.

However, things took a turn-around when they took a page from P-Noy's Secretary of Justice, Laila de Lima, who defied a Supreme Court TRO allowing GMA and the ex-FG from leaving the country. In fact, they used the same term-- "deficient".

Suddenly, the issue became larger than the mere five students involved. The issue now is, are the TRO's issued by the RTC, SC, or any Philippine court, merely a guideline or an order that must be followed.

In punishing the students, the nuns of STC defied law of the humans in the Philippines. After reading much in the debate, I now believe the students do, in fact, deserve punishment. And true enough, the nuns have succeeded in doing so.

On the other hand, I also believe the nuns also deserve punishment for defying the TRO. A court TRO is not a mere piece of paper. It is the judgement of an official of the land, a representative of the Filipino's justice. Irrespective of the deficiencies of the TRO, they are not merely obliged, but obligated to follow it. While these nuns do have dedicated their lives to following their version of God's law, they must first follow the law of man, for it is among men that they live their lives in service to God.

Defying the TRO is a classic move of the nuns "making a wrong to 'right' another wrong." It is then left to the RTC to render everything right. In a stroke of ultimate justice, I pray that the RTC judge hold these nuns in contempt of court (and mete out the appropriate punishment), while accepting the punishment that they gave their wards as well. In doing so, the RTC will reclaim its authority that has been in much tatters since the day the SC held itself above it. Should the nuns accept the punishment of the RTC, it will render them invincible against future children and parents who hope the get around the rules in the Handbook--that they are willing to be crucified so that their wards can claim eternal life.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crazy copyright infringement claim

Ads serve to distribute a message from businesses about their products and services that they are selling to potential customers, like you and I. So, knowing this in mind, it's often in the best interest of the ad to be seen by a lot of people, especially people like you and I who have enough spare cash to buy what they are selling.

Some years back, I wrote about a piece about a new (then) Microsoft ad to counter the "I'm a Mac" ads. As with any other Internet video, it had a YouTube video which you can embed and so on and so forth.

Therefore, it was with great surprise that I discovered my post no longer had the video on, but the embedded video says it was reported for infringement by Microsoft. Infringement?? For distributing ads?? Shocking! They should be paying the guy, instead of banning him.

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