Saturday, February 6, 2010

Is wi-tribe covering up something?

I think something is being covered up.

The wi-tribe product page (link) now does not mention anything about being able to pay money to reduce the lock in period from 2 years to 1 year or 6 months. But if you read my first wi-tribe blog entry, there was one. All the proof I had was my memory and one or 2 other guys in tipidpc who also remember. But thanks to google, I have evidence.

This is the current product page (link now) . You only see the 24 month lock in.

This google cache shows a glimpse of what was there before. (link). It used to say "24 month lock in or pay an extra P 5,000 for a 12-month lock in period and P 2,500 for a 6-month lock-in period".

Since this is a google cache, I do not expect this to last long. I've saved the webpage as an MHT file for reference. Download it here.

Intrigued? Well there's more. Remember the unofficial website/blog run by one of their agents?
Here's a screenshot of what was there before. UPDATE: try this link to see what it used to look like.

Here's the link. Try going there now and you'll see this.

Looks like someone yanked that page off the web.  The main unofficial page is still ok here.

update: The URL for the unofficial webpage that shows the plan details was moved. Its here.

And look at this . Why the wavy lines?

So why did wi-tribe remove the reduced lock in period from their official website? And why was the unofficial website taken down? Why was the URL of the webpage showing the plan details, including the cap and the lower lock in period in the unofficial website moved? I dont know. Someone has to explain it.

update: more proof

Thursday, February 4, 2010

LTE vs WIMAX ~ VHS vs betamax all over again?

Alcatel-Lucent has placed its money on LTE. What does this mean for globe wimax and wi-tribe users? Is wi-max a dead end technology? Is this why both globe and wi-tribe have ridiculously slow actual speeds (1 mbps and below)? Is Smart's upcoming LTE the wave of the future? Or will wimax still be OK?

in reference to:
"the firm is "not putting a lot of effort into [WiMAX] any longer" after noticing that there's "a clear direction taken by the industry towards LTE." Of course, it doesn't take an analyst to notice that Europe, Asia, and virtually every carrier in the Americas have all taken on a decidedly pro-LTE slant in the past couple years,"
- Major infrastucture supplier calls it: LTE over WiMAX -- Engadget (view on Google Sidewiki)

wi-tribe: no cap during trial period

This is my previous wi-tribe thread. Read it for basic details.


There are some unconfirmed reports from the Tipidpc wi-tribe thread that the trial period is uncapped, after paying up you get slapped with the 3 gig cap.

This is fraud!!!

Hybrid SSD-Hard Disk Device

This is a very good idea. Daisy chaining a SSD to a hard drive and making the hard drive function as a big cache.

I hope the chinese make cheap versions!

in reference to: | SilverStone Announces Hybrid SSD-Hard Disk Device (view on Google Sidewiki)

Windows 7 RC expiration date is coming up!

On February 15th, people still running the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) will receive a notification reminding them that starting March 1st, 2010, their PC will begin experiencing bi-hourly shutdowns. These shutdowns will continue through June 1st, 2010.

On June 1st, 2010, a non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar. This means your PC will no longer be able to obtain optional updates or downloads that require genuine Windows validation.
in reference to: Important Reminder Regarding Expiration of the Windows 7 RC - Windows 7 Team Blog - The Windows Blog (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

wi-tribe 4g - new ISP in the philippines

wi tribe website

There has been a lot of buzz about this but the website itself has few details. Special thanks to the tipidpc wi-tribe thread here, otherwise we would have few details. Well actually, there are more details now feb 3, 2010 compared to 2 days ago. For example, they now have a page where they give the price and speed (see below).

For reference, this is the pakistani version of wi-tribe.

This is the modem they offer, a Motorola CPEi 150 802.16e wimax modem.

Based on the PDF specs of the modem which you can DL from the wesbite above, it is a modem only. No wifi. Only 2 ports, an ethernet port and a power port. No provision for external antennas. The internal antennas are high gain and have a up to 2km range. I'm sure many people will want to hack this to place a bigger antenna anyway.

Wi tribe calls it the boom modem <link>.

The pakistani website clearly shows a usb modem so maybe in the future wi-tribe will offer it too.

So is this 4g? Probably not. The modem is wimax-E or 802.16e. Only LTE Advanced standardized by the 3GPP and 802.16m standardized by the IEEE are considered full 4g, see here. 802.16j is the latest and 802.16m is not released yet. LTE advanced should be out 2010. So maybe technically this is only 3.9g. Well, its close enough.

Looking at their website, at the moment they only offer 1 plan . 998 pesos a month, 1 mbps. 24 month lock in or pay an extra P 5,000 for a 12-month lock in period and P 2,500 for a 6-month lock-in period. That has to be a typo but thats what the website says. Anyway, 1 mbps is ridiculously slow for 4g. 1% of full 4g speed. I can get inconsistent actual speeds of 1-1.4 mbps with my 3.5g smart bro share it.

update: no info yet as to why the throttling is so bad. I'm guessing they are afraid of network congestion and cant afford to upgrade their equipment.

Actual users in the tipid pc wi-tribe thread are reporting speeds of 300-1200 kbps. So it seems this ISP is not immune to the "up to" disease prevalent in philippine ISP's. we are left wondering what will happen to the speeds if a lot of people sign up and network congestion occurs.

This is their fair Usage Policy.
Theres a lot of depressing stuff in the fair usage policy, specially for heavy users.

I have no idea if they use a shared, static or dynamic IP.

Oh, one big drawback a 3 gigabyte per month cap. After 3 gigs, you get throttled to 256 or 512 kbps (not realy sure which it is at the moment). AFAIK its nowhere in the official website but the 3gig limit is in the unofficial website.

See the 3 gigs under "capacity"?? Capcity is a euphemism of cap.  Look at the higher caps in pakistan, 7-17 gigs. The euphemism used is "volume".

IMHO the fact that they did not mention the cap in their official website reeks of dishonesty.

In the tipidpc wi-tribe thread, one poster claims that there will be other plans with higher price that have either higher or unlimited caps. Well, there are no details either in TPC or on the official website. Maybe the other plans are not out yet. There are other unconfirmed reports that you can pay a small amount to have your cap raised for that month only.

The modem is usable anywhere in the philippines with a signal (its not area locked). But unfortunately, again, the wi-tribe website does not give us covered areas.

update: there seems to be a 1-2 week trial period. Cant confirm it yet.

update: I always support a free market but this dishonesty and secrecy is coming from this new player in the philippine ISP market is very disheartening. I hope they learn from their mistakes

Radeon HD 5870 PCI-Express Scaling

A lot of people have old pci-e 1.1 motherboards and they always wonder if this will bottleneck their ultrafast vid card. So it looks like previous guesses were right. The bottleneck is small

BTW, pci-e 2.0 8x is equivalent in speed to pci-e 1.1 16x
in reference to: techPowerUp :: AMD Radeon HD 5870 PCI-Express Scaling Review :: Page 25 / 26 (view on Google Sidewiki)

Hitman pro rubs out Google redirect

I was hit by a really really persistent piece of malware recently.

1. When I try to sign in to a google service like this blog at or, i get redirected to a russian looking website (see pic below) after a "this certificate is expired something something" warning

2. jdownloader doesnt work. I just see the java program in task manager. If i run jdownloader again I see 2 java's.
3. does not affect my desktop, only my laptop
4. switching ISP's from smart bro share it to pldt dsl doesnt work
5. IE, firefox and ff private browsing are also affected

Obviously this is limited to my laptop, probably malware.I just learned that this is called the google redirect malware or TDL3 rootkit (see the words in the picture at the top of this page).

I tried scanning with my av, found viruses on my laptop and on my readyboost flash drive. Spybot search and destroy is clean. Usually scanning in safe mode gets everything but this time it did not work.Still getting the symptoms.

I cleaned the HOSTS file. I emptied windows, firefox and IE temp files. I deleted cookies. Nothing worked. Fortunately suggested that I try this program.

Hitman pro is 30 day trial ware. Its cloudware so it works by scanning your pc and looking for suspicious files and uploading them to a central server or something where 8 anti-malware programs check it out. So this does not work without an internet connection and it has all the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing. Found 3 malwares:


i dont know which of the 3 was the culprit but whatever, blogger and jdownloader are now working.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TRIED TO HELP ON tipidpc, pc experts and pcforums!!

I dont know if changing my AV to another one would help.
in reference to: Home - SurfRight (view on Google Sidewiki)

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