Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AXThrow a party @1300 at Enrique
AXMake posters for contents of index cards, etc
AXBuy index cards and cartolina
AXText people at the last minute
AXPost announcement on my blog


1. Compulsive wikister

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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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2. Text messaging

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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 media.

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; interaction)

(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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3. Digital Pinay

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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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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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