July 9, 2005

Bulk view


Ack ack ack. Three hours to go. Anyway, the party’s at the Enrique
studio, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines. =) We’re next to Mercury
Drug. Map: 2005.07.06#5 Time: 1 – 5, program at 3. Bring your 2-year
plan. =)

If you’re reading this blog, consider yourself invited.

私はコンピューターに興味がある。 I am interested in computer.

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Digital Pinay

Don’t worry, the Philippine Computer Society isn’t trying to sneak a
beauty pageant past us geekettes (at the moment, at least).

“Digital Pinay” will be the title of my monthly column in the
just-launched Computerworld On Campus magazine for prospective and
current IT students. I’ll share tips on making the most of computing
education, tidbits from my research and student life at the University
of Toronto, and advice on productivity and career planning.

Watch for it in the September issue. I’m still checking with them to
see if I can post the columns here as well. That would be fun!

E-Mail from Melba Jean Valdez-Bernad

祖母が生きているうちに、電話もコンピューターも一般的なものとなった。 In my grandmother’s lifetime, both telephones and computers have become commonplace.

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Text messaging

My preliminary goal for the research project is to develop services
for text messaging, drawing inspiration from successful initiatives in
the Philippines while adapting to the Canadian context.

Text messaging is extremely popular in the Philippines because of its
convenience and low cost. Availability of low-cost prepaid units and
inefficiency of landline providers result in high market penetration
for the cellphone. Ringtones, games and screensavers provide
significant revenue and plentiful advertising opportunities for
telecom companies and content providers. Value-added services through
text messaging are also popular, and our infrastructure makes it easy
for content providers to make a new service available.

WAP and GPRS are also increasingly popular. Just today, my friends and
I browsed a prominent news site for breaking news about the latest
political scandal. (Various groups are calling for the president to
resign, etc.) Specialized feeds provide news on shopping, sports, and
other popular topics. These services are advertised in mainstream

Of course, the primary use of texting is still communicating with
other people. Jokes, quotes, ASCII art teddy bears and even
mock-animated figures are passed around and carefully stored for
future forwarding. Text makes it easier for many people to communicate
despite noise, shyness or disability. Indeed, one of the first
ads promoting text messaging showed a couple communicating through
text. When they finally met, they used sign language.

A number of foreigners who’ve gotten used to texting in the
Philippines wonder why it hasn’t really caught on in other countries.
If it fits the research group’s goals, I can work on:

  • tracking the changing attitudes and abilities of a group of users as
    they start using cellphones to text each other
  • prototyping value-added services available through text messaging
    (push: announcements, quotes, reminders, etc.; pull: queries;

(On the other hand, if everyone wants to focus on blogs, I can do that
too. =) Blogs and communities are lots of fun.)

洋子はコンピューターを買えない。 Yoko is unable to buy a computer.

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Compulsive wikister

My research group sent me a whole bucketload of documents and
spreadsheets I need to read before the meeting on July 15. What’s the
first thing I do? Wikify it!

I can’t help it. I’m a compulsive wikister. I believe that a
well-maintained freely-editable website can give community depth
because the consequent culture of documentation encourages people to
think about making lasting contributions of knowledge. A wiki can be a
catalog of resources, a place for discussion, and even a venue for
light-hearted fun documenting strange things.

It’s 12:58 AM. The PLUG technical session is in 8 hours. My party is
in 12 hours. What am I doing? Wiki wiki wiki.

コンピューターは非常に複雑な仕事を瞬時にすることができる。 Computers are capable doing very complicated work in a split second.

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