the babel machine


Friday, March 04, 2005

twisted luna

Luna Cruz is back with Part 1 of her Twisted Halo Chronicles. Check out her YOU article.

Oh, and Luna? You're going to the US and Europe this May? Inggit ako! Hehe. Hope you do get to see Primavera Sound 2005.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 8:00 PM :: 0 Comments:

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taking flight

Say hello to SoloFlite, our Friday YOU Blog Addict.

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pdi front page story

If you have a copy of today's Philippine Daily Inquirer, check out my story " for sale on eBay" on the front page.

If you can't get a copy, check out the online version in's Infotech page.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 11:58 AM :: 5 Comments:

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one in a million

Our hackenslash and Infotech reporter Erwin Oliva is the man of the day at ITJourno Asia's Epitome column. Go Erwin!

And go,, which is visited by more than a million unique users a day, and generates more than 41 million pageviews a month. Now you know it's not only our friends and relatives who read our stories, hehe.

INQ lads loved by a million a day

According to a Media Request posted on MediaConnect Asia by an INQ7 reporter, has over one million unique users each day.

Not surprising when you consider there’s some fine juice squeezing out of their tech pages.

That could-have-been-so-boring “.ph” domain name story - that the administrator is doing an appalling job - just won’t die, with the man himself now hitting out at his accusers. ‘Why are you so mean to me? I think everyone else is bad at their job too…’ seemed to be his approach in an Erwin Oliva report yesterday.

Meanwhile, phone firm PLDT acknowledged this week that VoIP “will be the biggest threat to its main business in 2005”, Oliva had in another piece. In a big day, he also had “Webzen files charges against Filipino game hackers”.

In a patriotic vein, Joey “games-man” Alarilla profiled a Filipino games develper trying to get its products onto the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 10:36 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Thursday, March 03, 2005 for sale

They say you can buy and sell almost anything on eBay, the world's biggest online auction site. Filipinos, however, might be surprised to find out that domain names associated with former senator and Philippine hero Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. are now being sold to the highest bidder.

Read my story in's Breaking News section.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 3:45 PM :: 4 Comments:

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itjourno top leads

ITJourno Asia, the subscription-only trade site for tech journalists, cited my Gender and ICT Awards story for having one of the top nine leads of the day:

[T]his is for all the journalists out there... we need better headlines, and better first paragraphs.

If we want Slashdot, Google and Yahoo picking up our work, we need to make our first 40 words absolutely sensational.

Epitome today will not highlight some of the more boring reads around – just nine of the more clickable in our community over the past 24 hours or so.

"Dating site's weakest link exposed"

"Over 30,000 members of the Social Development Unit (SDU) have been locked out of the matchmaker's website, after a computer security flaw was uncovered," wrote Chan Chi-Loong, The Straits Times.

"PCCW discounts anger clients"

"Telecommunications giant PCCW has been accused of snubbing its loyal customers by offering discounts of as much as 40 per cent exclusively to newcomers," wrote Patsy Moy, the South China Morning Post.

"A safe ride on the wired bus"

"Parents have been receiving SMS messages that update them on their children's whereabouts when they are on the school bus" from Aaron Tan, Digital Life, The Straits Times

("The company declined an interview with Digital Life, citing security concerns for the students," Tan wrote.)

"India plunges $US2.7b into rural networks"

"The Indian government has announced a 22% increase in finances for the development of telecoms services, earmarking a significant proportion of the $US2.7 billion fund for the continued rollout of rural networks," wrote Tim Marshall, CommsDayGlobal.

"RP ICT industry urged to tackle gender issues"

"While the information and communication industry has been touted as an equal opportunity field, an organizer of the international Gender and ICT (GICT) Awards has stressed the need to examine whether ICT is actually empowering women in the Philippines," wrote Joey Alarilla,

"Thailand a sweet spot for Microsoft"

"Microsoft's Thailand business is one of the fastest growing in Asia, with revenue growth of 36% last year and a goal to double that in three years, while it will also push web services through a partnership with the government" from Sasiwimon Boonraung, Database, The Bangkok Post

"What drives you?"

"A car is more than a box on wheels. It's your entertainment centre. It's a connected office and as some male friends of mine would say, 'It's my wife.'" from Hellen Tan, Digital Life, The Straits Times

"TOM Online Acquires Indiagames"

"Hong Kong-based, China focused mobile internet company TOM Online Inc. has announced the acquisition of Indiagames, a mobile games publisher based in Mumbai, India," from CMPNetAsia Staff, CMPNetAsia.

"Firefox vs IE: Round two"

"Microsoft's history tells us this much: when it set sights on a particular competitor, it usually spells doom for the targeted rival" from Ong Boon Kiat, CNETAsia.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 3:30 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

handheld heaven

After gaining recognition in the Palm and PocketPC market, a Filipino game development firm now has plans of creating titles for the latest handheld gaming devices, including the Nintendo DS and the Sony PlayStation Portable.

Read all about it in my hackenslash article.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 4:11 PM :: 0 Comments:

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eswc shares vision for pro gaming

Will video games become the next global spectator sport? Read my Infotech column as Electronic Sports World Cup president and CEO Matthieu Dallon talks about the future of e-sports.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 1:22 PM :: 0 Comments:

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not digital pinay

Read my story on the Gender and ICT Awards, and find out why the Philippine ICT is being urged to tackle gender issues.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 1:12 PM :: 0 Comments:

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she likes geeks

Meet Nicole Sarmiento, our Tuesday YOU Blog Addict.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 1:10 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

inq7 anniversary celebrated its fourth anniversary on February 27. Some of you might have gotten a copy of the mini-mag/print anniversary special inserted on Sunday in Philippine Daily Inquirer newspapers sold in the Makati and Pasig areas.

You can also check out our anniversary site.

Yup, we've certainly come a long way from the "hole in the wall" at PDI that served as the office of the original Not that we really have that many people even now -- multitasking is still the name of the game.

While is officially four years old because it was formally launched on February 27, 2001, some of us have been there even before the joint-venture company was incorporated by Inquirer and GMA. Four of us (one of whom is no longer connected with made the jump from the Inquirer, and were actually still doing our jobs at PDI while working for months before the formal launch.

As one of those Inquirer people, I've seen a lot of changes over the years, and while the ride has sometimes been bumpy, I'm proud to say that we've done so much with so little and so few. People look at and only see the "big fish" that it has become, not knowing the real story of what those early years were like. A lot of people said we wouldn't be able to pull it off, but we pushed on and proved them wrong. And we won't be satisfied with being a big fish in a small pond.

So here's to -- and to all the people who have supported us over the years. The journey's just beginning.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 8:43 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Monday, February 28, 2005

constantine's saving grace

Finally saw "Constantine." And you know, it wasn't that bad a movie. Really.

But it's better if you've never read the Hellblazer comic books and have no idea who the real John Constantine is (and I'm not just talking about his being a Brit but the different facets of his personality) as he was portrayed over the years.

Otherwise, part of you will be protesting that the character Keanu Reeves is portraying barely has anything in common with JC. And yes, banzai cat, I agree -- that has to be one of the worst portrayals of onscreen smoking.

Still, I can say that "Constantine" was kind of entertaining, because the special effects were OK and the movie offered glimpses of the great flick it could have been (the mirror exorcism and some of the other scenes with the demons). But the main saving grace would have to be Gabriel and Lucifer.

The way they portrayed Gabriel was particularly noteworthy, and the frightening thing is that in real life, I believe a number of self-righteous religious fanatics would do what she/he/it planned to do. So yeah, even though the plot twist wasn't particularly unexpected, this Gabriel was more interesting as a character than The Snob of Garth Ennis' Hellblazer run.

And I guess that's where "Constantine" failed to deliver even though it was a stylish flick and had its moments. Because the movie wasn't really able to make Keanu's Constantine or Rachel Weisz's Angie and Isabel interesting characters -- maybe it's just me but I didn't find myself empathizing with them.

Let me put it this way: Keanu's a cool guy and he was great in "Speed" and the first Matrix flick, but whenever he's on screen he's Keanu, not whichever character he's playing. That's something I've come to expect, so I don't blame him, but I do blame the filmmakers for casting him. And for some reason Rachel seems doomed to be an actress you don't really care about, whichever flick she's in -- and having her and Keanu as the main characters acting out their strained non-relationship onscreen is really too much of a challenge for any film to hurdle.

What I don't get with many flicks based on comic book characters is that filmmakers want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to license a character that's already had a following among comic book fans in order to get them as a captive audience, but at the same time they want to appeal to the mainstream public, so they change some things.

Which is fine: I don't expect or want an exact movies to portray characters exactly as they are in comic books, because they're different mediums. Things that work in the pages of a comic book would look ridiculous onscreen -- think of having to see the exact comic-book looks of Green Goblin and Doc Ock on the big screen, or Wolvie's real costume.

But to tamper this much with the character of John Constantine really takes the cake. Hell, they could have just named Keanu Jack Finkelstein and gone the whole action-I'm-trying-to-be-The-Matrix-except-with-demons-instead-of-a-thousand-stupid-annoying-Agent-Smiths route instead of mucking around with Hellblazer. It's a pity, 'coz this flick had style but just couldn't make up its mind what kind of movie it was going to be.

John Constantine in the comics was one of the biggest bastards around, the guy you loved to hate because he was mostly a poor excuse for a human being who somehow ends up saving the world just the same. Not because he was some hero, but because he kept taking down the forces of evil for personal reasons. The kind of guy who had balls enough to say sod off to the Devil and spike his drink with Holy Water, and actually piss on the King of the Vampires. He had a lot more in common with the original character of Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, before they made Spike a wuss.

Keanu's character, on the other hand, is just a scowly-faced gumshoe depressed because he's dying of lung cancer, who just so happens to have a gift (or curse) for seeing spirits and demons ("I can see dead people," anyone?) and a knack for the occult.

And the only Conjob this film really offers is its futile attempt to make people believe that these two characters are one and the same.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 7:57 AM :: 1 Comments:

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direct2drive and you

Sutton Trout, IGN Entertainment director of digital content for consumer products, talks about the future of digital game distribution in my Infotech article.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 7:50 AM :: 1 Comments:

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words and pictures

Say hello to Jenny Caspe, our Friday YOU Blog Addict.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 7:49 AM :: 0 Comments:

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