unwired

Certain technologies sometimes fail to deliver what they promise.

Let’s talk about the latest wireless Internet technologies that are now available in the Philippine market.

I don’t want to name products. But let’s just say there are two popular (and perhaps the only two services available now) services that boast broadband speeds without the need to connect to a wired network. They use the existing mobile phone networks.

Recently, I’ve heard complaints about one service that promises to deliver high-speed data that goes beyond the 3G (not the gravity) speeds. I read in one mailing list that the service had been out for 2 weeks. That’s pretty bad!

I remember when I was hooked up to fairly new fixed wireless Internet service several months back. I did experience hiccups.

Lately, I still experience “no Internet” service for days. Just recently, I lost my Internet connection after a thunderstorm.

I got a call from the customer service after numerous tries. The customer support agent was patient enough to determine what was wrong. Eventually, he concluded that my wireless antennae might have been damaged during the thunderstorm.

The next morning, my connection was back. Hmmmm…

Another wireless service I dub “I ain’t roaming” is perhaps a dud. It WAS the first of its kind in the country. But it has so far failed my personal reliability test. I’ve been using it for the past weeks to provide me wireless Internet from anywhere where there is mobile phone network coverage. But one day, I found its PCMCIA card not working.

The card was not initializing and so it won’t connect to the mobile network. And for some reason, it reconfigures your Windows wireless Internet settings. So I had to figure how to revert back to the normal settings of detecting any wi-fi network available.

Anyway, this wireless roaming Internet service provides intermittent wireless Internet connection.
Moral of the story: wireless Internet technology in the Philippines is not yet reliable. Most of the wireless Internet services offered today don’t exactly provide the quality of service they promise.

The sad thing is that the local firms might be over-selling this service, amid problems and complaints of poor quality.

On the beat with CJs: Sydney Morning Herald

First off, thanks Dr. Stephen Quinn for citing our experience here in the Philippines.

My prof in convergent journalism, Dr Quinn, wrote a story for the Sydney Morning Herald, titled the On the Beat with Citizen Reporters, where he details how technology has changed the way news is delivered, at least for some organizations.In today’s world of wireless communications, blog, and the Internet, nothing still beats good journalism.

Excerpt:

THE power of the mobile phone to capture history has been enthralling news watchers as never before and is changing the way news is reported.

Most of the eyewitness images of the Virginia Tech shootings came from amateurs using camera phones. So, too, did images from major news stories such as the London Tube and the Mumbai rail bombings.

(Update) Pinoy wins cybersecurity award

(UPDATE) Filipino cybercrime forensic investigator Alex Ramos who has been named one of six finalists in the prestigious cybersecurity award wins.
Excerpt:

A Filipino cybercrime investigator has been named one of the finalists in an annual award given to cybercrime forensic investigators, INQUIRER.net has learned.

Alex Ramos is vying for the 2007 Timothy Fidel Memorial Award, according to a statement released by Guidance Software Inc, a copy of which was obtained by INQUIRER.net. Ramos participated in the analysis of digital evidence regarding a “multi-jurisdictional investigation” involving the phreaking of 7,000 voicemail and PBX systems worldwide, including systems in the Philippines.

The winner of the award will be named during the sixth annual Computer Enterprise Investigations Conference (CEIC) in Loews Lake, Las Vegas resort, on May 7.

Are we ready for mobile TV?

Yay! Mobile TV is almost here. Wait. What’s on? Well, that’s the biggest question that I want to ask service and network providers. Yes, mobile television is here but what content will it have. Will mobile TV services resort to shovelware, meaning pushing the same content we now see on our boob tube to the mobile handset? Or we going to see a YouTube-like model, which is user-generated? Excerpt:

PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno said the service is still undergoing technical tests but will be formally introduced on March 11.

“It would initial show the cable channels CNN BBC World, CNBC, Basketball TV, MTV, Jack TV, Fashion TV and other entertainment channels,” Nazareno said.

I remember this article I wrote last year: “Mobile TV is ‘snack TV’, say Ericsson.” It says:

People will spend less than 5 minutes watching television programs on their mobile phone, a consumer survey from telecommunications vendor Ericsson showed.

What can you watch in less than 5 minutes? Short video clips, of what? Basketball or Football highlights, MTV, YouTube, etc. That’s just a start. What else? A video clip of your home sent through your Internet-connected security web cam. Five-minute sitcoms or sketches. Music lessons, a multimedia map or tour guide. A video clip of your doctor’s or dentist’s diagnosis. A review of the latest book, movie, etc. These are just random thoughts that I’m typing now. There will be more. In short, don’t think about today’s TV when you hear mobile TV. Two words: snack TV.

I also found some useful links on mobile TV.

Globe to continue promo despite NTC suspension

Globe lawyers said it will continue with a new unlimited text promo despite National Telecommunications Commission’s order to suspend it. Excerpt:

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said its current directive suspending Globe Telecom’s new unlimited short messaging promo (SMS) or text promo stays until they resolve the matter during a rescheduled public hearing on February 20.

But Globe insisted it would continue its Unlitxt promo until the company comes to a settlement with consumer group TXTPower, which filed the complaint that led to the suspension, Globe lawyer Rodolfo Salalima told reporters a few minutes after a closed-door meeting with the regulatory agency.

“We had a conciliation meeting, which is like a pretrial hearing that hopes to lead to a settlement. Globe said they were seriously considering entertaining the TXTPower suggestions” but have asked NTC to give them time to talk to their management, said lawyer Lucio Espinoza, Jr., chief of staff of NTC chairman Abraham Abesamis, during an impromptu press briefing.

Here’s a video clip of Globe lawyer Rodolfo Salalima explaining.