Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This scrawny kitty was abandoned near the Petrellis' house about two weeks ago. Poor critter was shivering and meowing to the high heavens for it had just rained. So my dad took it and I named it Ianto, after a Torchwood character. (I've only recently discovered Torchwood, a British sci-fi spin-off of the Dr. Who TV series.) But it turns out it's a girl, hee! Well, no matter. Ianto in the show is bisexual anyhow. Ianto felt at home very quickly. Her eyes are so huge she looks alien (fits right in with Torchwood, heh). She struts around the yard like nobody's business. The Petrellis hate her guts.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Zhang Yimou and the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Surely you caught even a little bit of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies last Friday? What a magnificent showcase of culture and arts! The concept of the scroll was fabulous. I loved loved that sequence where dancers brought an ink and wash painting to life with their bodies. And I loved the drummers, and the oarsmen, and the Han dynasty performers, and the movable-type blocks, and the globe with people running and dancing around it (so fascinating I didn't mind Sarah Brightman's airy delivery of the cheesy theme song). Wow! So much detail I didn't know where to look. And we didn't even get to see everything (too many commercials, gah!). Below is a short clip about Zhang Yimou and the preparations for the opening and closing ceremonies (OMG can you imagine how so much more spectacular the closing ceremonies will be!). Yimou is the same director who brought us the fabulous films Not One Less, The Road Home, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers.

I didn't get to see it through to the end though, so I didn't see the lighting of the cauldron. Which is why I'm searching for a file to download right after this (hello torrents!).

Itching to get Globe's iPhone 3G? Hold your horses.

Since Globe announced that it would be accepting reservations for the! people have been scrambling to their nearest Globe service center to make sure they will have the new phone in their hands by August 22. Just to give you an idea of how ridiculously overpriced the thing is, a prepaid kit costs Php 41,899 for the 8GB model, and Php 48,899 for the 16GB. Well alright, that's the extreme. To see a matrix of Globe's iphone plans, go here.

It's really nice and sleek and sosyal, with a lot of bells and whistles, but do you really need all that? Internet access, iPod, youtube, GPS, tons of applications and I don't know what else. What, is it so crucial to have youtube access in your pocket? The only thing that might tip me over is if one can buy music from iTunes (can somebody please tell me?). And then again, it's easy to talk myself out of it. There are other ways to get iTunes-available music after all (I'm talking about iTunes gift cards, lower your eyebrows). It's a 3G phone, nifty. It will allow you to make video calls. But a lot of other phones have 3G already, minus the hefty price tag. How advanced is 3G technology here in the Philippines anyway? (My K800i is 3G capable but I've never bothered to use it. And poo, turning it on uses up the battery faster.) GPS? Sure is handy, but how practical is it to use in the Philippines? It can't read the MMDA's myriad of u-turns, can it?

If you want to get the iPhone for a lower price you can opt to buy it from *cough* other places, but be aware that you will most probably have to have it unlocked to be able to use it. The software might have been hacked already and you can't use all the other services apart from making calls and texting. And you have to go back to those *cough* other places if you want your firmware upgraded (assuming they can do that), and then be charged with a ridiculous fee for something you should have gotten for free. And oh, for all those hi-tech features, last I heard iPhone doesn't have MMS support. What's worse, you can't even forward or copy-and-paste text messages. You have to get a third-party application (like this or this workaround). Gee, what a cute quirk. (Oh lookee, I found this just now: 10 Things the 3G iPhone is Still Missing.)

If that's not enough to make you think twice, you ought to know that there are alternatives out there that might turn out to be better choices. It always pays to check out the competition - other brands might actually offer more value for money. (For me that's actually my basic assumption: that I can get better for a more reasonable price. In the end I almost always go for the competitor of the perceived leading brand.) You might like to check the Samsung Omnia, for instance. If, after watching a load of Samsung commercials during RPN's Olympics Opening Ceremony you already felt like wanting to buy the Samsung F480, hold on, the Omnia is actually a newer model. (Check out more pics here, and the specs, here.)

I haven't actually studied all the specs or read the reviews to be able to make a comparison and conclude that the Omnia (or something else) is indeed a better choice. I think I'll do that when Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1 comes out. Because heh, check out how sleek it is. Oh dear. (Check out the full specs here.)

It won't be available til late this year, so if you can wait, why don't cha? Me, I don't really need a new phone right now, no. In a couple of years perhaps, when prices are more stable and glitches in the technology have improved. In the meantime I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised if I ride the tricycle and the driver makes a quick stop to take a call on his iphone. Last time that happened it was a Nokia N-series phone. Sheesh.