Friday, July 23, 2010

globe wimax prepaid launched!

Whats new with Globe Wimax?
• PREPAID: Globe Wimax Prepaid 4G is the only Prepaid internet for the home. All other wireless prepaid internet services are for mobile or outdoor use.
• FAST: It is super fast at 3Mbps
• No network congestion

Do I need to submit anything to avail of Globe Wimax Prepaid 4G?
• No, need to submit any documents.
• Just pay P2,900 for the Globe Prepaid WiMAX kit.

What's do I need in order to start surfing?
• You will need at least P60 to be able to avail of the 1-day unlimited surfing.
• You will be given a virtual number just like a prepaid mobile number. This is stickered on the box.
• You can load your device through the following using this virtual number:

• Globe Load retailer or Autoload Max
• Share-A-Load
• ATMs

How does the 1-day unlimited surfing work?
• The 24-hour period starts after you click "Start" in the User Portal. Note that you will only be able to click Start if your unit has at least P60.

Can I load an amount that is worth more than the value of 1-day unlimited surfing, e.g. more than P60.
• Yes, you can. When the first day pass ends, you will have to press "Start" to begin the next day pass.

How do I reload my Globe Wimax Prepaid 4G Kit?
• You can reload through:
• Globe Load retailer or Autoload Max
• Share-A-Load
• ATMs

Can I use my Globe WiMAX-4G in other places?
• Yes, it is portable. You can use it in other places where Globe WiMAX is present.

I am a current Globe WiMAX Postpaid or Globe DSL subscriber. Can I shift to prepaid?
• Yes, if your contract period has lapsed.

There are 2 types of Wimax modems available, the small and big one, which one is best for me?
• The type of modem you should get depends on your location.
• After checking the coverage maps, if your area is more than 800 meters away from the Wimax cellsite, you should get the bigger modem. If you are less than 800 meters away from the Wimax cellsite, you can get the smaller modem.

How much does the big and small modem cost?
• Small Modem (Model: UH235): P2,900
• Big Modem (Model: BM622): P4,500

What if I am not happy with my Globe Wimax Prepaid 4G kit, can I return it?
• If you are not happy with your Globe Wimax Prepaid Kit, you can return it within 7 days from the date of purchase.
• Requirements:

• Kit must be complete and in good condition
• Official Receipt


My comments.
First, any new isp or plan that is not too disadvantageous to the consumer is welcome. It gives you more choice.
Next, aside from the per day charging, it would be nice to have a per 15 min/30 min just like globe tatoo or smart bro prepaid.
Is the 3 mbps actually attainable?
And technically, only 802.16-M or wimax M is full 4g. This is probably wimax-E so its only 3.9g.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Final roll of Kodachrome processed

Kodak stopped manufacturing the oldest film in its catalog last year, but Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas kept its Kodachrome processing rig around just in case. Last week photographer Steve McCurry processed the final manufactured roll of Kodachrome there - 33 frames taken around New York City, and three taken in Parsons. A crew from National Geographic (where McCurry made his name, specifically with the iconic "Afghan Girl" cover photo) documented the final roll's journey from the factory to processing, so you'll probably be able to find out more on it soon. Oh, and if grandma's a real shutterbug, you might want to tell her to check the attic for any spare Kodachrome rolls she has lying around -- Dwayne's is the last remaining Kodachrome processing facility in the world, and that service will stop on December 10th. Now, if it's quite alright -- pardon us while we attempt to capture a meaningful moment on our soulless Easyshare ecosystem of products.

End of an era. Looks like film cameras are one step closer to being dead.


Monday, July 19, 2010

using STEAM in a net cafe

STEAM is a digital distribution platform. Essentially, you use your credit card or paypal account to buy software (games) on steam and you download it. Once downloaded, you can play it. Once you bought it, you can download it multiple times and install it multiple times even on different PC's. But for most games, the DRM wont let you play the game simultaneously on multiple PC's. And practically all games require you to login to your steam account before you can play. You can login to your account from any PC but not from 2 PC's at the same time, this serves as part of the DRM. Although steam has an offline mode, I'm not sure how that works with the DRM.

Why is STEAM so great?
  • From time to time, there are sales on selected software. There was a big summer sale that ended last 4th of july. Lots of games were 50-75% off. As in less than $10 or even less than $5 for big name branded games. Older games of course have a bigger chance of going on sale for lower prices. 
  • A lot of times, the sale price is much better than in physical stores. Being digital, they could change the price every hour if they wanted to
  • For even more savings, some games are available in packs. Say several related games, or all games from a particular manufacturers, or even 4 packs - 4 copies of a game that you can sell or give to 3 of your friends, keeping one for yourself. Sometimes a popular or new game is bundled with an older one, giving you a 2 for 1 sale.
  • Being digital distribution, there are no costs in making and shipping physical discs, boxes and manuals. This helps keep costs down
  • Being digitally distributed, it is available anywhere you have a net connection. Perfect for people who live away from big cities or who like me live in 3rd world countries. Although some digital distribution companies limit sales of some games to specific areas. fortunately, STEAM doesn't do that
  • A newly released game is available immediately. sometimes you can even pre order
  • Automatic updates
  • Did I mention that it can be cheap??

Anyway, first read the disclaimers.

  • Nothing in this post/blog may be construed as advocating software piracy. Heck, this entire post is about trying to help net cafe owners go legit by giving them access to paid but cheap games.
  • I dont have a net cafe so I have not fully tested some of the techniques here with multiple PC's. Most of this post is just brainstorming.
  • This might violate some rules or EULA in steam or some EULA for a particular game, so please read your EULA.
  • Digital distribution has no paper trail unless you print out your email from steam or produce a credit card report. Depending on the laws in your country, this might not be enough to prove that your software is legitimate. Some countries require a certificate, a box and a physical disk as proof of authenticity. So good luck if the law in your country is not keeping up with technological innovation.
  • Join STEAM's cyber cafe program for more information and more savings. A bulk purchase or a commercial liscence may be cheaper. See <link>.

OK now with that out of the way, we can now ask, can I use steam in a net cafe?  Although the correct term is "LAN gaming center". A net cafe only offers internet access but a LAN gaming center offers multiplayer gaming, either MMO's or via LAN.  Since in the Philippines, they are practically interchangeable, we'll use the shorter term "net cafe".

Why use STEAM or any digital distribution in a net cafe? The biggest reason is cost. Software is a big expense, especially in third world countries since the cost of games usually is the same world wide.

The main technical hiccup in using STEAM for multiple PC's is the DRM. STEAM itself has some DRM and some games have their own DRM on top of that. STEAM's DRM is simple in that it only requires you to login to the STEAM user account tied to that game (hence, requiring internet access) before the game will launch. With STEAM, you can download and install the game multiple times on multiple PC's but you cannot log in with the same STEAM account on 2 PC's at the same time.

Ideally you could give each PC in your net cafe one STEAM account and purchase one of each game for each PC. Unfortunately, without a bulk purchase or a commercial liscence this can be expensive and inefficient, especially for games that are not too popular. Here's a better way if you dont want to join STEAMs' cyber cafe program. For example, if you have say 10 pc's in your net cafe and at most, only 5 customers at a time play a particular game, then you just buy 5 copies of that game. Each game has one steam account and you shuffle logins. This can get complicated if you have lots of games and lots of PC's. Plus there is the danger of your paswords being copied by your customer.  A way to automate this is by using net cafe management software like True cafe.

With this you setup a separate Steam account for every game you provide for your customers in your Internet cafe. Then you register your Steam accounts (login/password) in the TrueCafe CD-key management system and create a shortcut to your game on the TrueCafe Client program panel.  When a customer double clicks on a game shortcut, the CD-key management system takes an available Steam account from the stock and use it to start and login Steam.

To reduce downloads, you can just download each game once and use STEAM's backup function to backup the game to a portable hard drive or flash drive and just use STEAM's restore function on another PC. Not sure if merely copying the /steam/steamapps/common directory on each PC will work.

OK I hope this gives net cafe owners some ideas on how to stay legit and save money at the same time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Making texting while walking safer

We all know that texting while walking or driving can be dangerous because your vision and attention is on the phone's screen and not your curroundings. Now there's an app that helps

If your phone has a camera in the back, it projects a live view of what your camera is seeing as the background. It may help a bit in reducing mishaps.


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