Archive for August, 2006

Can we finally get back to work?

Congress has finally dismissed the second impeachment complaint against Philippine President Arroyo with a unanimous vote of 173-32-1.

This was the first major issue Congress tackled since it was formally opened by the President just last month.

According to the Philippine Constituition, another impeachment case cannot be filed within the same year the first one was cast.

Now the opposition has a year to file another one. Can we finally get back to work?

But on the eve of an election year, I seriously doubt that would happen. We are about to see all of the grandstanding and publicity moves up until the elections next year. And we’ll never get anything done. I wish congress will prove me wrong.

Prove me wrong for once. I want to be surprised that they will pass the anti-terror bill. I want them to start debating about digital security, copywright and internet privacy. That they will finally pass laws that will matter.

Stop with the bickering and media grandstanding. File those claims of election fraud in the proper venue. That is why we have the courts. That is not the job television.

There’s a lot of work to be done. The president has started. Now can congress?

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Games Industry is ‘Failing Women’

The videogames industry is continuing to fail women by not producing suitable content, a senior executive at Electronic Arts (EA) has said.

EA meet Nintendo. It seems that Nintendo has the pulse of women when it comes to games. The Nintendo DS has brought more women to gaming than EA. I will admit that I do not have exact scientific figures for it but it brought my sister to gaming. She was a gamer when the games are there. But she never really caught on the Sims or Sim City or any other game for that matter. I’ve had a lot of the modern consoles, PS1, PS2, Gamecube, PSP, Xbox360 and DS but she didn’t play as much as I did until Nintendogs came out. She bought her own DS and games. Now she has her own collection of DS games apart from my own. Who says women are not into gaming?!? They just haven’t made the right game.

Game developers have been too busy with “trends” and the “in” thing and have completely forgotten about being innovative and fun. Which in the first place games are supposed to be. Nintendo has never been afraid to do that even if they did lose out big to Sony in the past. But apparently it’s paying out now. DS sales are higher than PSP sales everywhere. Most of my friends who went out and bought PSPs are switching to the DS. For me, games have to be what they’re meant to be. Fun. As long as it’s fun, you’ll get the sales and women will digg it too.

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Electronics import tariffs in 5 ASEAN countries to be abolished

Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will soon enjoy low prices on electronics.

It’s about time. For years they have put taxes on imported electronics, basically everything. So the prices that US consumers enjoy are not necessarily passed on to other countries. The Philippine government puts as much as 25% tax on computers on top of the local tax. Take Intel processors for example. These chips are made in Malaysia or in the Philippines, it is prohibited to sell these chips locally. So what happens is that these chips leave the country and come back and sold at a higher price.

I applaud the ASEAN for doing the right things. They’ve already lost a lot of ground to China and India in terms of IT development and sales. I hope this boosts the industry and I’ll expect a cheaper iPod in the near future. Like really near.

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New domain address

I have created a new domain for this blog. Yippee! It’s now accessible at http://procrastinatingintheheat.com instead of typing my whole name to it. An easier way I hope in getting this blog out there. I think it would be easier to link it to the name of the blog rather than the person.

The site will remain hosted at blogspot. I just wanted to get the name of the blog across. Just as long as someone can spell “procrastinate”.

Notebooks, iPods, mobiles, books banned on UK flights

Air travellers leaving the United Kingdom on Thursday faced the strictest security measures in years: iPods, cellular phones, laptops, and even books and magazines were no longer permitted as carry-on items.

In light of the recent terrorism crackdown in the UK and the real threat to international aviation and human lives new security measures greeted passengers as they entered the airport last Friday. In more recent news, the Aviation Security Command of the Manila International Airport will be implementing similar guidelines for ALL flghts, not just flights bound for the USA and UK. It has not yet been revealed if it includes the said electronic gadgets.

I myself am a frequent traveller, (not as much as my boss or my parents) but I do travel out of the country at least once a year for vacation. This year I’ve had two so far. After years of languishing in economy class, I finally saved up enough money to keep me busy through these long flights. It’s already bad enough to be in economy class with the crowded setup and cramped space it just gets som much worse if you have to sit through a long haul flight for 16 hrs without entertainment. So in comes my Nintendo DS, PSP, iPod and Apple Powerbook. Yes, I bring all of these with me on the plane to keep me entertained and calm for as long as possible. Ever since I purchased these “noise-cancelling” headsets I’ve been in travelling bliss. I am unable to hear anything around me except for the music which runs through the headphones from my selection of choice in my iPod or inflight movie. If you’ve ever sat through a a 10 hour flight with two people talking in front of you THE WHOLE FLIGHT, you know what I’m talking about.

But I don’t mind giving all of it up for my security. But what happens to my luggage now?

For Filipinos, luggage is a very important. They make every kilogram count. But if my carry-on luggage will now be checked in, will it affect the count of the rest of my check-in luggage? For example, I checked-in 2 suitcases which is the limit of my free allocated check-in limit. Now they tell me to check-in my carry-on luggage because of the new security measure. Will I have to pay additional? If it meets the original guidelines for carry-on luggage and will still be placed inside the plane just not with me, should I have to pay additional for it?

I just lifted this from the NWA website.

Northwest Airlines Reminds Customers of New TSA Security Requirement
EAGAN, Minn — (August 10, 2006) – Northwest Airlines is reminding its customers of a new requirement from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) affecting all airline passengers. Click here for current Travel Waiver information.

Effective August 10, 2006, the TSA has advised that travelers are not allowed to transport any liquids, gels, lotions or similar items in their carry-on luggage. This includes items such as beverages, hairspray, toothpaste and shampoo. Customers are advised to transport these items in their checked luggage. The TSA will remove these items from customers’ carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints. These items must now be placed in checked luggage or they will be discarded.

Baby formula, breast milk or juice will still be allowed as carry-on items if a baby or small child is traveling. Other TSA policy exceptions include prescription medicine with a name that matches the name on the passenger’s ticket, insulin and non-prescription medicines, but these items must be presented for inspection at the security checkpoint.

– To meet the needs of our passengers, NWA is providing additional bottled water on all domestic and international flights.

To ensure our passengers’ in-flight Duty Free purchases meet the new TSA carry-on requirements, on-board Duty Free sales will not include any liquid, cream or gel items.

Expect to be asked to remove all shoes at security checkpoints. While this is a common occurrence, you can expect these checks to be nearly universal.

Follow all directives from Transportation Security Administration personnel. This is a developing situation and protocols may change as new information becomes available.

Leave extra time. These new security procedures will require travelers to allow more time to transit the airport. For future travel, we encourage domestic customers to arrive two hours prior to departure; those flying to international destinations should arrive three hours prior to departure.
The airline is suggesting that customers consider checking all of their luggage, in an effort to minimize delays at airport security checkpoints.

As additional information on this new TSA security requirement becomes available, it will be posted on the TSA’s Web site at http://www.tsa.gov, and Northwest will post information to its Web site at http://www.nwa.com/asia.

All passengers should check flight and gate status prior to leaving for the airport.

This comes from PAL

11 August 2006
PAL posts new rules for US-bound passengers

MANILA – Philippine Airlines will implement additional security measures on all its flights bound for points in the United States and Canada, in response to an emergency advisory of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Effective immediately, all North America-bound PAL passengers are advised that:
No liquids or gels are permitted on board the aircraft as carry-on items. These include beverages, shampoo, lotions, creams, toothpaste, hair gel and other items of similar consistency.

Exceptions are allowed only in the following cases:
Baby formula, breast milk or juice if a baby or small child is traveling
Prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket
Insulin and other essential non-prescription medicines

PAL and airport security will thoroughly search passengers’ carry-on baggage as well as their persons to ensure compliance. Any item listed above will be confiscated. To avoid this, passengers are advised to include such articles in their checked luggage.

Passengers who refuse to be searched will be denied boarding.

Passengers are strongly advised to travel light, especially concerning their carry-on baggage, in order to expedite the screening process.
These measures are on top of ongoing security procedures on all North America-bound PAL flights, such as the removal and screening of footwear, and the exclusion of pointed, bladed and flammable items onboard.

Covered by this advisory are PAL flights from Manila bound for Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas (via Vancouver), Honolulu and Guam.

end of travel advisory

It does not say if I will have to pay additional for the check-in luggage. Hmmm. I think I will give them a call in the next few days to find out or check on other airline websites.

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