the babel machine


Saturday, November 12, 2005

young netizen

Sam sure loves our PC.

She began using a PC and different gadgets and appliances before she turned a year old (starting out on the old Pentium III I sold to help pay for my current Pentium 4 rig). She's turning 4 in December.

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who's gonna drive you home?

Hey, how come this thing isn't moving?

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Sam playing with the train set in this hobby store.

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sammy and snoopy

Here's Sam posing with Beagle House's Snoopy.

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rose launch

Here I am with Level Up! business unit director Sheila Paul, surrounded by ROSE characters during the official launch of Philippine ROSE (Rush on Seven Episodes) Online at the Dolphin Park of Glorietta 4 on Oct. 29.

The second guy from the left is fellow Asian Gaming Journalists Association member Jing Garcia, editor of the TechTimes section of the Manila Times.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

countdown to wcg

I'm really excited to cover the World Cyber Games grand finals for the first time.

I'll be in Singapore from Nov. 15 to 21 for this huge event that's considered the Olympics of video gaming. Over 800 players from over 70 countries have advanced to this stage after hurdling their respective national finals.

Let's wish the nine members of Team Philippines the best: Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Kris Romillo, Justin Chan, Kenichi Enda, Arvin Agbisit and Paolo Nancho) for Counter-Strike: Source; Israel Magante, Need for Speed: Underground 2; Byron Bongon, StarCraft: Brood War; John Cruz, champion, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne; and Arby Jao, first runner-up, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. We Filipino gaming journalists who will be flying in to Singapore will cheer them on, together with WCG Philippine team leader and project manager Tjader Regis and the other members of the Philippine contingent.

The Asian Gaming Journalists Association is also organizing a small get-together for the different members who will be in Singapore for the WCG event. AGJA has members from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

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pdi front page

My Fil-Am botmaster story made it to the front page of today's edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

They even placed a drawing of Guyito (you know, the carabao who's PDI's mascot) saying, "Sinayang ang talino!" I'm not happy that the suspect is a Fil-Am (and let's not forget, we have to give Jeanson James Ancheta the benefit of the doubt -- after all, he's presumed innocent until proven guilty), but dang, I think this is my first story with a Guyito.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

fil-am suspect indicted in US 'botmaster' case

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested Jeanson James Ancheta, a 20-year-old in Downey, California who is accused of infecting an estimated 400, 000 computers and controlling them as part of his bot network, also known in geek speak as a zombie network. It turns out that Ancheta is an immigrant from the Philippines.

This is supposedly the first case in the US where they are prosecuting someone who has been selling botnets for profit, as the suspect is accused of offering control of his botnets to individuals and companies who were willing to pay. Through botnets, he could use the linked computers to launch distributed denial of service attacks or engage in mass spamming.

The bots Ancheta allegedly unleashed also infected computers at the Weapons Division of the United States Naval Air Warfare Center and the Defense Information Systems Agency, a component of the United States Department of Defense. You can get a PDF copy of the 52-page indictment here.

Here's an excerpt from my Breaking News story:

If convicted on all 17 federal charges, Ancheta faces up to 50 years in

Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer of the United States Attorney's Office, Central District of California (Los Angeles), confirmed in an e-mail to that Ancheta is a Filipino-American. An article that came out in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 4 stated that Ancheta was an immigrant from the Philippines.

"Yes, he is Filipino-American. However, there is some question as to his history. Some information indicates that he was born in the Philippines and later became a US citizen. However, other information contradicts that. I expect to have more information on this on Tuesday," Mrozek told

In a separate e-mail, Ancheta's aunt Sharon Gregorio confirmed that Ancheta is an immigrant from the Philippines.

"He came here in the United States when he was five years old. He is my deceased brother's son and we basically are very close. It is very hard for me to be talking about him because he's dear to me. I grew up with him, I took care of him when he was still little and it just breaks my heart how he has to go through this ordeal," Gregorio told

Read the rest of the story.

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